Pair return for Wallabies

Genia, O'Connor included in starting XV to face France

Last Updated: 25/11/10 2:45pm

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Genia: recovered from rib problem

Genia: recovered from rib problem

Sky Bet

Australia have scrum-half Will Genia and winger James O'Connor back in their side for Saturday's Test against France in Paris.

Genia is deemed fit enough to face Les Bleus after a recent rib injury and O'Connor is back with the squad after having to fly home to Australia following the death of a close friend.

They replaced Luke Burgess and Lachie Turner, who are both dropped to the replacements' bench for the last match of the Wallabies' European tour.

Berrick Barnes, who kicked 22 points in Florence, keeps his place ahead of Matt Giteau in the centre while lock Rob Simmons and prop James Slipper retain their places in an unchanged pack after impressing in their first starts last time out.

Flanker Scott Higginbotham could become the 12th Wallaby to make his Test debut during the calendar year should he be called from the bench.

Important

"Will was obviously part of the squad last week but we wanted to give him a chance to fully recover from his rib injury," said Australia coach Robbie Deans.

"It's good to have James back. He's had a tough week but he's come back in a really good frame of mind and he's looking forward to participating again on Saturday night.

"Being our last outing for the year definitely adds some importance to this game.

"Not only will it be our last impression from a team perspective, but it's the players' last opportunity to make an impression too leading into what is an important year next year with a World Cup approaching."

Australia: 15 K Beale, 14 J O'Connor, 13 A Ashley-Cooper, 12 B Barnes, 11 D Mitchell, 10 Q Cooper, 9 W Genia; 1 J Slipper, 2 S Moore, 3 B Alexander, 4 R Simmons, 5 N Sharpe, 6 R Elsom (capt), 7 D Pocock, 8 B McCalman
Replacements: 16 T Polota-Nau, 17 B Robinson, 18 M Chisholm, 19 S Higginbotham, 20 L Burgess, 21 M Giteau, 22 L Turner

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