Giteau - We face tough test
French confident despite weakened squad for tour
Last Updated: June 22, 2008 12:19pm
Giteau: Not complacent
Australia fly-half Matt Giteau is predicting a tough battle as the Wallabies prepare to face France in a two-match test series Down Under.
France have picked a weakened squad for the series, which gets underway on June 28, because of player-involvement in club competition finals at home.
This has led to suggestions that the Wallabies will have little trouble dispatching their opponents.
But Giteau is not under-estimating the French as the Australians continue their rebuilding under new coach Robbie Deans.
Giteau said: "We are under no illusions, this is going to be a tough test, as much as everyone else is saying otherwise.
"They've got nothing to lose. By the sounds of things, they will try to play tight but they've also got the players, that if they want to, they can throw the ball around."
The Deans-era in Australian rugby began with a hard-fought 18-12 victory over Ireland on home soil.
Giteau believes the side can improve on that result, adding: "I suppose we did switch off a little bit in the second half and we had to defend a lot of time, though I think defensively we were really happy with our effort.
"But attack wise, there's huge improvement. We only put together maybe 25 minutes of good attractive running with the ball, so we've still got a long way to go."
The French party arrived in Australia in confident mood, with captain Lionel Nallet insisting they intend to make a game of it against the Wallabies.
He said: "We are here to challenge the Aussie team and most of the players who are in the squad will be happy to show they are able to play at that level.
"I think if there's a key to the game that could give problems to Australia, it's in the forwards."
French scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili added: "We come here to put pressure on this team. After all, we know they've changed their coach. There's a lot of new players also.
"They will be very motivated and want to beat us, we know it. But we have no pressure, we come to make good games and to give all, to do our best and to defend our jersey."
The first Test will be played at Sydney's Olympic stadium on June 28 with the second match at Brisbane's Lang Park a week later.