Brothers! Week two is upon us and this is where everything could change and whether we may truly have a surprise package in this year’s tournament.
Perhaps more than just the usual ‘big three’ for the silverware? Only time will tell, find out below who will shine in week two and whether this tournament will leave its mark on the game!
Australia Vs France
First up sees the World champions Australia take on France in their first meeting in eight years.
The Kangaroos have made several changes from their opening win over England.
The likes of Cooper Cronk, Dane Gagai and Valentine Holmes dropping out in place of Tom Trbojevic, Josh Mansour and James Maloney.
Similar tactics for France as coming into the line-up are Olivier Arnaud, Remy Marginet, Maxine Herold and John Boudebza for Damien Cardace, Williams Barthau and Antoni Maria.
Probably relatively easy for the Kangaroos, hence their ‘weaker’ selection to give their young guns a chance to shine for their country and who can blame them?
Young guns such as Jordan McLean and Cameron Munster have a chance to shine, more so than their previous NRL title with the Melbourne Storm.
They also have the pleasure of skipper Cameron Smith and Billy Slater to work alongside with at International level too and no doubt both will take control of proceedings regardless.
So yes, in the capital at Canberra stadium, Australia will remain as red hot favourites and should secure qualification to the quarter-final here.
They also have the likes of Aaron Woods and David Klemmer to come off the bench, with both starring in the win over England, who will prove yet another handful for the French.
On paper, France have experience in their ranks so shouldn’t be completely counted out.
Theo Fages captaining the side could in-still some attacking flair into the French, even though they face the world’s best, especially defensively.
France’s pack may cause the Kangaroos some strain; Julian Bousquet, Benjamin Garcia and Jason Baitieri of the Catalan Dragons may have more than a few tricks up their sleeve.
But overall, Australia will remain favoured and in front of their own faithful especially, they will attain yet another win here.
France go into this in hope rather than expectation, it is only a matter of damage limitation, even before the kick-off!