Socceroo Wright covets a crack at France

Socceroos defender Bailey Wright is desperate for a crack at arguably the toughest task in world football.

Wright wants the job of trying to quell French megastars Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema in Australia's World Cup opener in Qatar.

The dangerous French duo form a one-two attacking punch that threatens to knock the wind out of the Socceroos in their November 22 (6am November 23 AEDT) clash in Doha.

Wright is among a five-strong batch of central defenders in Australia's 26-man squad in Qatar, along with Harry Souttar, Milos Degenek, Kye Rowles and Thomas Deng.

"Every single one of us, in every position, are fighting for that shirt against France," Wright told reporters on Thursday.

"We have a real healthy competition. We're all mates. We all push each other. And we all want that shirt."

Souttar, on the comeback trail after a knee reconstruction, appears a certain starter in one of the central defensive posts.

And Wright hopes his past performances in 27 internationals will count to his benefit when coach Graham Arnold selects his starting side for the clash against France, the reigning World Cup champions.

"Arnie and the coaching staff know what I can bring to the table," he said.

"I hope it's enough. If it's not, I'm here to play my part in the team - (I'm) not going to throw my toys out the pram.

"I am here to represent my country in numerous ways."

Wright played in just two of Australia's 18 World Cup qualifiers but was entrusted by Arnold for a berth in the crunch playoff game against Peru which decided the second-to-last of the 32 nations to compete in Qatar.

Wright entered Australia's pre-cup camp with limited recent game time for Sunderland in the English Championship.

The 30-year-old warmed the bench for the best part of two months - after games, he would take to the pitch for fitness drills.

"When you're running after games, ultimately you're running for your country," he said.

"You're running for that opportunity, to make sure you're ready."

The Melbourne-born Wright was summoned back into the first team when injuries hit Sunderland's starting line-up earlier this month.

Coach Tony Mowbray praised Wright's mentality when overlooked as a starter, and was rapt his timely recall could help the Socceroos.

"For Bailey, it's good timing for him now that he has got back in the team," Mowbray told Sunderland's website.

"Some injuries have allowed that to happen but it has given him good game time and I hope he can impact his national team in a World Cup."