Tupou to start in only Wallabies change

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has backing his team to bounce back from last week's "substandard" display against France, and now he's urging his players to back their attack.

Powerhouse prop Taniela Tupou has been promoted to start in place of Allan Alaalatoa in the only change to the side for Tuesday's second Test against France in Melbourne.

Alaalatoa drops to the bench, with Rennie picking the same game-day 23 for the first time in consecutive Tests since taking charge last year.

It's a big show of faith in a team that struggled to scratch out a last-gasp 23-21 win over the undermanned French in the first Test in Brisbane.

Tupou had a huge influence with both his scrummaging and ball-running after coming off the bench in the Suncorp Stadium clash.

NSW skipper Jake Gordon retains the starting halfback role despite strong pressure from Queensland's Tate McDermott, who impressed and pulled off the match-turning play in Brisbane when he secured possession before the Wallabies' after-the-siren penalty goal.

Gordon continues his halves partnership with Brumbies youngster Noha Lolesio, who faced plenty of decision-making pressure from France's rushing defence in the first Test.

Rennie said his team deserved another chance despite widespread calls for a host of changes.

"I'm never too concerned about outside reaction, because when you win, people are saying you're awesome, and that doesn't help either," Rennie said.

"You've got to cop it on the chin. It was a substandard performance, but I'm happy with the character we showed to fight our way back from 15-0 down and get a result in the end.

"Seven days ago we thought we picked the right side to play. We lacked accuracy. We gave up some soft points early.

"We just think there's more in this group and we want to give them another crack."

Rennie said Tupou deserved his chance in the starting side.

"He was outstanding, and has been every time we've brought him into the game," Rennie said.

"(Alaalatoa's) work ethic is phenomenal, and it was a real stop-start game, so we weren't able to make use of that strength of his.

"Taniela deserves to start, and it's a chance for him to stake a claim on the three jersey looking ahead to that third Test."

Rennie wants his players to trust their instincts and take advantage of opportunities when they present.

"We want the boys to be confident, to play what's in front of us," Rennie said.

"At times I thought we were really conservative. We kicked the ball away and kicked it into touch, which slows the game down and gives them an opportunity to regroup.

"We did more than enough to win well, but we've got to be far more clinical."

Wallabies team: Tom Banks, Tom Wright, Hunter Paisami, Matt Toomua, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Jake Gordon, Harry Wilson, Michael Hooper (capt), Rob Valetini, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Matt Phillip, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper. Res: Lachlan Lonergan, Angus Bell, Allan Alaalatoa, Darcy Swain, Isi Naisarani, Tate McDermott, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway.

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