Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of the Wallabies v France, Australia’s second international of 2021. Kick-off at Melbourne’s AAMI Park is 8pm.
After seven months without Test ruby we’re back for the second time in a week as we reach the midpoint of France’s three-Test tour. The opening match was a disjointed affair that France led for the majority of the 80 minutes only to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in embarrassing fashion at the death.
The manner of the triumph was far from convincing, but after a shaky opening 20 minutes the Wallabies grew into the dominant side. Coach Dave Rennie is hoping that control begins at the kick-off tonight. “We need to start fast, be more clinical and turn pressure into points at AAMI Park on Tuesday night,” he said.
There will be plenty of attention on Australia’s backline in particular after it collectively failed to fire in Brisbane. It remains to be seen how much is down to ring rust and how much is simply finding out that some players in gold jerseys are not up to the task at this level.
Despite their late brain fade France can be pleased with their first Test shift. This is far from a first XV so to run Australia so close, in a country they haven’t tasted success in since 1990, deserves credit. Hopefully, after further acclimatisation and time outside quarantine, Les Bleus can show even more.
I’ll be back with line-ups and more shortly, and if you want to contribute anything to tonight’s blog, you can do so by sending me emails or tweets.