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Wallabies well equipped to handle Georgian heat in Paris

By AAP
Taniela Tupou at Wallabies training. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Stacked with Queenslanders, the Wallabies are hoping that the searing heat in Paris for their Rugby World Cup opener works in their favour against Georgia.

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The Australians will line up for their pool C match at Stade de France on Saturday (Sunday AEST) with the France capital unseasonally hot for September.

The forecast high in Paris for game day is 36 degrees and only expected to drop by two degrees by their 6pm kick off.

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World Rugby said on Friday that extra water breaks would be allowed during matches with the France and New Zealand opening game stopping after 25 minutes.

Hooker Matt Faessler, who is from Toowoomba, felt the Wallabies would flourish playing in the heat against Georgia, where the average summer temperature is 22 degrees.

“There’s something like seven Queenslanders in the match-day 23 and I think we’re probably blessed that we’ve had a fair few tough pre-seasons in some pretty ridiculous heat,” Faessler said, leaving out two of the nine Wallabies who grew up in the sunshine state or live there now.

“That on top of that prep week we had in Darwin, where it was pretty hot and pretty humid, the same sort of temperature it is here today, that should put us in good stead for these early pool games before it starts cooling down.”

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The Wallabies enter the match with a hugely inexperienced line-up with 17 of the match-day 23 playing their first World Cup.

They also have a winless record this year so are looking to build belief with a victory over Georgia, who are ranked two places below in 11.

The Georgians are noted for their scrummaging but have added some backline talent since their 27-8 loss to Australia at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

While a win was a non-negotiable, flanker Fraser McReight said the team wanted to show their improvement in each match.

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“Eddie’s touched on it in terms of what a good World Cup looks like, to build each week and develop that momentum,” said McReight.

“I’m sure going out there and winning by 30 would be nice but for us, I think building on the foundation we’ve put in over the last eight or nine weeks is the focus.”

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