Australia's Sekope Kepu is tackled by the South African defence during this year's Rugby Championship.
Australia's Sekope Kepu is tackled by the South African defence during this year's Rugby Championship. Themba Hadebe

Wallabies duo offer inside knowledge on France threat

RUGBY UNION: Sekope Kepu and Dane Haylett-Petty have warned their Wallabies teammates about underestimating France when they clash in Paris on Sunday morning (6am AEST).

Both know full well what to expect from their opponents at the Stade de France, having spent time playing club rugby in the country.

"They're a great team. They're capable of playing an attacking, exciting style of rugby,” said utility back Haylett-Petty.

"Everyone talks about the French flair ... (but) they're also able to grind out wins. We know what a challenge it's going to be.”

Haylett-Petty spent three seasons playing at Biarritz.

"In Europe a lot of the teams play different styles of footy, so as a footballer it helped me round out my game,” he said.

"I learned a lot playing over here. It's definitely made me a better footballer for it.

Kepu, who spent just under a season with Bordeaux, was adamant the scrum was a "weapon for them” and he planned to take fellow props Allan Alaalatoa and Tom Robertson aside to prepare them.

"The biggest thing is (the French) love scrummaging. Their mentality is a bit different to what the southern hemisphere teams (have) and what we're used to,” Kepu said.

"It's something they take pride in and it's something we've built over the last year or two as the Wallabies and Australian front row.

"It's a forward pack thing. Just the way they operate and the way they like to scrum is something that I'll have a chat to the boys about. It's a massive challenge.”

Australia is so far undefeated on its Spring Tour, following wins over Wales and Scotland, with fixtures against Ireland and England to follow the France clash.


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