Planet Rugby



Key battle: Hooper v Dusautoir

13th June 2014 11:15


French captain Thierry Dusautoir L training session

Seeking revenge: Thierry Dusautoir

Opposing skippers and flankers Michael Hooper and Thierry Dusautoir are set for an epic battle in Saturday's second Test between France and Australia.

Les Bleus captain Dusautoir makes a welcome return after missing last week's humiliating 50-23 thrashing in Brisbane and is demanding perfection from his team.

The inspirational flanker is hellbent on ending a 24-year drought in Australia and his influence is set to make the much-changed French side a very different challenge for the hosts.

"We want to show another face of our team," Dusautoir told AAP on Friday.

"We know in order to defeat the Wallabies, we have to be perfect. It wasn't the case last week. That's the pressure, to be perfect at each point."

New Wallabies skipper Hooper is 11 years younger and 36 caps less experienced than his French counterpart but the Waratahs flanker's performances this season have belied his tender age of just 22.

"As a number seven you want to play these guys and play the best in the world," said Hooper said.

"Dusautoir is obviously the leader of that pack and will be at the forefront and I'm sure bring a lot of passion.

"We've been preparing for that this week."

Amongst the ten changes to the visitors' starting XV, France coach Philippe Saint-André has recalled 115kg centre Mathieu Bastareaud, who is set to be their chief strike weapon.

"Different night, different stadium, almost a different team to be fair," said Wallaby centre Matt Toomua.

"Things can change very quickly.

"They will be a lot stronger. Game two was always going to be a focus for them.

"They would have targeted this game from the start.

"I like to use (my defence) as a weapon and impose myself," he added.

"Having said that I've never played someone that size in the centres before.

"I'll have my hands full."

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