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Tupou expected to start against Six Nations champions France

By AAP
Taniela Tupou. (Photo by Jason O'Brien / www.photosport.nz)

Destructive prop Taniela Tupou will return to the Wallabies starting side after Allan Alaalatoa was ruled out of Sunday’s showdown with France in Paris.

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Alaalatoa presented with concussion symptoms at halftime in Australia’s spring tour-opening 16-15 win over Scotland at Murrayfield and was subsequently scratched from the second match.

The Wallabies face a huge test of character against the second-ranked Les Bleus as Dave Rennie’s inconsistent outfit chase back-to-back wins for the first time in 13 months.

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France are riding a 10-match winning streak, Europe’s reigning Six Nations champions and 2023 Rugby World Cup hosts last tasting defeat 16 months ago in the series-deciding Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Rennie will name his full 23-man team on Thursday night, with France-based lock Will Skelton in line for a start in the second row after rejoining the Wallabies squad this week.

The 140kg behemoth could add further starch to the forward pack, while changes are also expected in the backline following a clunky attacking performance against Scotland.

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Rennie has promised to rotate his three touring halfbacks, with Nic White likely to start after his rugby smarts proved pivotal in the Wallabies’ comeback win in Edinburgh.

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