Horwill returns for Wallabies Test against France

Former Australia captain James Horwill has been named in the starting to play France at Stade de France in Paris this weekend while Sekope Kepu will win his 50th cap.

Horwill came off the replacements bench last week to replace Sam Carter in the Wallabies 28-33 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Tight-head Sekope Kepu will play his 50th Test for Australia and become just the sixth prop in Australian rugby history to reach the milestone.

Twenty-eight-year-old Kepu made his international debut for Australia against Italy in 2008 and it has taken him seven years to reach the half century mark.

“Sekope has been a great player for Australian rugby over a long period of time and I congratulate him on this very special milestone,” coach Michael Cheika said.

“He has proudly represented the Wallabies for seven years and the experience he now brings to this team is invaluable.

“He still has plenty of improvement in his game and I’m confident his best years of Rugby are ahead of him.”

Cheika said he has yet to confirm the Wallabies reserves bench and it will be announced in the lead-up to the match.

Cheika said he was expecting a vastly different French team to the one Australia swept 3-0 during the June Test series at home.

“The French have a completely different mindset when they are playing at home, as well as some exciting new players in their squad, and we are under no illusions as to the intensity they are going to bring to the game,” Cheika said.

“For us, it is still early days and we are getting used to a new system in attack and defence.

“I was happy with the first steps we took against Wales, but the challenge for us this week was to ensure that we raised the bar much higher in terms of our accuracy and intensity at training.”

Australia

Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali’ifano, Joe Tomane; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (capt), Sean McMahon; Rob Simmons, James Horwill; Sekope Kepu, Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper

Replacements: To be confirmed

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