France's fit-again Ntamack 'ready' to face Wallabies

France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Thursday Romain Ntamack was "ready" to start their Autumn Nations Series opener with Australia this weekend despite last playing for his club in September.

Fly-half Ntamack, 23, has been out for more than six weeks due to an ankle injury and will partner World Rugby player of the year and Toulouse team-mate Antoine Dupont for Saturday's Test in Paris.

"We followed his return to training closely then his return with us. He didn't play and then came straight with us to camp," Galthie told reporters.

"I feel he is ready. I feel it but the truth will be in the match," he added.

Tight-head prop Cyril Baille, who also plays for Toulouse, is handed the No. 1 shirt having returned for his Top 14 outfit last weekend from a groin problem which he suffered during pre-season.

"There's a risk for Cyril Baille, like other players. It's a contact sport," Galthie said.

"There's endurance and speed that calls for a lot of skills. In contact you can get injured," he added.

Pretoria-born lock Paul Willemse has been ruled out for two weeks with a thigh issue, leaving Thibaud Flament, one of seven Toulouse players in the starting lineup, to link with Racing 92's Cameron Woki in the second-row.

"It's very unfortunate for Paul," Galthie said.

"It comes at a bad time because the next match is South Africa.

"It's very hard for him, for us, it was a difficult time for the team," he added.

Jonathan Danty is at inside centre despite his partner expecting a child in the coming days.

"Firstly, it's fantastic," Galthie said.

"I had the same experience, France against Australia in 2001 in Marseille.

"We played, the day after I took the plane and was present for the birth of my son," he added.

Ex-Test scrum-half Galthie has made 11 changes to the side that started July's second Test win in Japan including at full-back where Thomas Ramos, who has scored three tries and 109 points so far this season for Toulouse as Ntamack's replacement at fly-half, comes in for youngster Max Spring.

The Six Nations Grand Slam champions were without a host of first-choice players for the games against the Brave Blossoms due to a clash with the Top 14 knock-out stages.

France (15-1)

Thomas Ramos; Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Yoram Moefana; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Anthony Jelonch; Thibaud Flament, Cameron Woki; Uini Atonio, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille

Replacement: Peato Mauvaka, Dany Priso, Sipili Falatea, Romain Taofifenua, Killian Geraci, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Lucu, Matthieu Jalibert

Coach: Fabien Galthie

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