Second-tier Jaminet among seven new France faces for Wallabies opener

Sydney (AFP) –


Melvyn Jaminet, a fullback with no top-flight experience, is among seven uncapped players named by France head coach Fabien Galthie on Saturday to face Australia in next week's first Test in Brisbane.

Jaminet, 22, helped Perpignan to promotion to the Top 14 in just his second campaign as a professional player.

Castres hooker Gaetan Barlot will also make his debut for Les Bleus on Wednesday in a team missing a host of first-choice players who played in last week's Top 14 final and would not have had time to complete Covid-19 quarantine after entering Australia.

Only winger Damian Penaud, centre Arthur Vincent and stand-in captain Anthony Jelonch remain in he starting line-up from the last round of the Six Nations, a loss to Scotland in March.

On the bench, forwards Anthony Etrillard, Quentin Walcker, Sipili Falatea and Florent Vanverberghe, as well as 30-year-old scrum-half Teddy Iribaren are poised to make their first international appearances.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup hosts will complete the three-Test series against the Wallabies on July 13 and 17.

Next week's first Test was moved to Brisbane after Sydney was put into a two-week lockdown to contain an outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

France team (15-1)

Melvyn Jaminet; Damian Penaud, Arthur Vincent, Jonathan Danty, Gabin Villiere; Louis Carbonel, Baptiste Couilloud; Sekou Macalou, Anthony Jelonch (capt), Dylan Cretin; Romain Taofifenua, Killian Geraci; Demba Bamba, Gaetan Barlot, Jean-Baptiste Gros

Substitutes: Anthony Etrillard, Quentin Walcker, Sipili Falatea, Florent Vanverberghe, Baptiste Pesenti, Cameron Woki, Teddy Iribaren, Anthony Bouthier