Tate McDermott to start among Wallabies' changes for third Test

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has made seven changes to his starting side for the decisive third Test against France on Saturday night, the biggest of which sees Tate McDermott replace Jake Gordon at scrum-half.

The Queensland No. 9 will make his first run-on Test start, at home in Brisbane, alongside Brumbies fly-half Noah Lolesio who retains the No. 10 jersey in the continued absence of James O'Connor. The veteran Wallabies utility had been nearing a return but reportedly suffered a setback in his recovery from a groin injury earlier this week.

"He's played well, hasn't he? He's done well off the bench, playing in Brisbane at his home ground, to get his first start, he's worked really hard and deserves a crack," Rennie said of McDermott's promotion.

"Obviously Jake's played a fair few minutes as well, so we're really comfortable with that [decision]. We're fortunate with the depth we've got there."

There are further changes to the backs with Brumbies centre Len Ikitau named for his first run-on appearance just two days after he debuted off the bench in France's dramatic 28-26 victory in Melbourne.

Ikitau's inclusion sees Hunter Paisami shift one spot closer to the action at inside centre, with veteran midfielder Matt To'omua dropping back to the bench.

The other change in the backs sees Filipo Daugunu come onto the right wing with Tom Wright, who struggled for impact in each of the first two Tests, missing selection in the 23.

Rennie has also looked to freshen up his pack with Lachie Swinton and Isi Naisarani coming into the back-row and Darcy Swain, who has enjoyed two solid efforts off the bench so far, earning his maiden run-on start at lock.

It will be only a second Test appearance for Swinton, his first ending after just 37 minutes when he was red-carded for a high tackle on debut against the All Blacks in Brisbane last year.

Asked whether he was worried by Swinton's disciplinary record Rennie offered an emphatic: "No".

The Wallabies coach did then expand on Swinton's aggressive style, but backed him to manage the physicality so that it does not extend beyond the laws of the game.

"He's got a bit of a reputation, he got a red card at club level for having a bit of a punch up with someone; that's pretty standard for a forward. He got a red card recently that was incorrect and got rectified, and he got a red card in his first Test.

"[But] We looked at 35 minutes where he was just devastating defensively and he got one wrong where he didn't dip and he caught Sam Whitelock with a shoulder. Six months earlier that wouldn't have been a card, let alone a red card. So there's been a focus on it, we've certainly put a lot of emphasis on our boys around getting low and dropping the body-height and the footwork required to do that around carry and clean.

"So Lachie's ready to go, there's very little in some of those selections. He was very close to being named in team first round and we decided to not make any changes for the second one, and now he gets his chance. We want him to be really physical and that's his game, that's his point-of-difference, so why would you tell him not to do that?"

Meanwhile in the front-row, the rotation at tighthead prop continues with Alan Alaalatoa replacing Taniela Tupou.

There are two new faces on the bench with Jordan Uelese and Reece Hodge, who has been sidelined for three months with a knee injury, set to make their first appearances of the series.

The Wallabies are trying to win a first three-match Test series against northern hemisphere opposition since 2014, when they beat France 3-0.

But the tourists have proven far sterner opposition this time around, despite the absence of multiple first-choice players, setting up what promises to be an intriguing contest at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

France last won a series in Australia in 1972.

AUSTRALIA: Tom Banks, Filipo Daugunu, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Tate McDermott; Isi Naisarani, Michael Hooper, Lachlan Swinton, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Darcy Swain, Alan Alaalatoa, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper. Replacements: Jordan Uelese, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Matt Philip, Rob Valetini, Jake Gordon, Matt To'omua, Reece Hodge.