Cheika will look to mastermind a victory over Ireland later this month.

Saint-André names unchanged France XV for clash with Cheika's Wallabies

Australia will warm up for their clash with Ireland at the Stade de France.

PHILLIPE SAINT-ANDRÉ has uncharacteristically named an unchanged France team to face Australia on Saturday [KO 20.00 Irish time].

The unpredictable head coach of Les Bleus has kept faith in the XV that powered to a 40-15 victory over Fiji in Marseille last weekned.

21-year-old Teddy Thomas retains his place on the wing after scoring three tries on debut against Fiji, while South African-born full-back Scott Spedding, who also made an impressive first cap, likewise keeps his place.

Saint-Andre insisted he wasn’t worried that Australia could exploit Thomas’s defensive weaknesses. Although he scored three tries last weekend, he was at fault for one of Fiji’s scores after a feeble attempt at a tackle.

“There’s a chance he will be targeted but he has a huge potential and he’s worked hard on his defence,” said Saint-Andre. ”He’s a young player who learns quickly. If he costs us two tries but scores four on Saturday, that would be a good return.”

France Fiji Rugby Thomas retains his place after a hat-trick last weekend. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Meanwhile, former captain James Horwill returns to the Wallabies’ starting line-up in the only change to Michael Cheika’s team for Saturday’s fixture.

Horwill, a reserve last week, replaces lock Sam Carter in the team which beat Wales 33-28 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday. The French Test at the Stade de France will be the third of the Wallabies’ five-match European tour this month.

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. Kepu, 28, is in his seventh year of Test rugby after making his debut against Italy in 2008.

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

Rugby Union - Dove Men Series 2014 - Wales v Australia - Milliennium Stadium Cheika is hoping for another win in France. EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

“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.”

France: Scott Spedding; Yoann Huget, Alexandre Dumoulin, Wesley Fofana, Teddy Thomas; Camille Lopez, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Alexandre Ménini, Guilhem Guirado, Nicolas Mas; Pascal Papé, Yoann Maestri; Thierry Dusautoir (capt.), Bernard LeRoux, Damien Chouly.

Replacements from: Benjamin Kayser, Uini Atonio, Xavier Chiocci, Alexandre Flanquart, Sebastien Vahaaamahina, Yannick Nyanga, Charles Ollivon, Rory Kockott, Remi Tales, Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz, Maxime Medard.

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

Replacements: To be confirmed.

- © AFP, 2014

- Additional reporting by

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