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Kicker Donaldson, Kerevi start Wallabies World Cup opener

PARIS - Australia coach Eddie Jones has named place-kicking fullback Ben Donaldson in a full-strength side for their World Cup Pool C opener against Georgia on Saturday.

The versatile Donaldson replaces Andrew Kellaway to make his first test start in the number 15 shirt after Carter Gordon had an off day from the tee when Australia went down 41-17 to France in their final warm-up match.

Gordon will again lead the backline from flyhalf with Samu Kerevi returning at inside centre after recovering from a hand problem sustained against the All Blacks in early August.

Concerns in the Australian media that Kerevi might not be fully fit could be reflected in centre Lalakai Foketi's inclusion as one of three backs on the bench.

Marika Koroibete also returns on the left wing after missing the France warm-up, which took Australia's record to five losses from five tests this season.

Jones named the same pack as started the France match for the return to Stade de France but lock Matt Phillip is dropped from the bench to allow space for Foketi.

Seventeen of the matchday squad will be playing their first World Cup match on Saturday and the team averages 19 test caps apiece.

"With the youngest team at the Rugby World Cup the excitement level in the group is high and we've had a good preparation for the tournament working hard on our game," Jones said in a statement.

"All 20 teams are at the starting line now and it's important we get off to a fast start against Georgia on Saturday night."

Australia team:

15-Ben Donaldson, 14-Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13-Jordan Petaia, 12-Samu Kerevi, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-Carter Gordon, 9-Tate McDermott, 8-Rob Valetini, 7-Fraser McReight, 6-Tom Hooper, 5-Will Skelton, 4-Richie Arnold, 3-Taniela Tupou, 2-David Porecki, 1-Angus Bell

Replacements: 16-Matt Faessler, 17-Blake Schoupp, 18-Zane Nonggorr, 19-Rob Leota, 20-Langi Gleeson, 21-Nic White, 22-Lalakai Foketi, 23-Suliasi Vunivalu REUTERS