Bastareaud will "avenge the insult" of first Test
ESPN Staff
June 11, 2014
France's Mathieu Bastareaud spins the ball in midfield, England v France, Six Nations, Twickenham, England, February 23, 2013
Bastareaud has been identified as a danger man heading into the second Test © PA Photos

Earning his maiden Test on Australian soil, French centre Mathieu Bastareaud is one of several big names due to return in Melbourne after missing the first Test and says the French are ready to "avenge the insult" of their 50-23 thumping. A 115kg beast, Bastareaud has been identified as a danger man by Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

"He's powerful, he's tipping the scales 113-114kg so they'll have a big centre combination," McKenzie told News Corp. "He'll be hard to handle. You don't want to give him too much space, in terms of getting going, he's difficult to put down."

With 23 caps to his name and learning alongside Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell at Toulon, the 25-year-old will be ready to dent holes in Australia's midfield with his powerful ball-running.

Speaking to French media, Bastareaud said he hoped to restore pride to Les Bleus on the field after he sat out last week's hammering and attempted to lift the spirits of his "slaughtered" teammates at the weekend.

"It is a big slap to have 50 points put on you," Bastareaud told rugbyrama website. "On the pitch you feel helpless and you're doubly helpless in the stands. Even though I was not in the group I am part of the tour and it is hard to take, it hurts."

"But we will not languish forever. We have to raise our heads and we have to show pride. If we do not defend aggressively, they are a difficult team to counter. We want to play, to avenge the insult."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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