Eddie Jones faces a difficult task after a poor summer and the pressure is already on.
While their opening Pool C game is not set to be their most difficult test of the tournament, the Wallabies head to France on a wretched run of form having lost all five of their warm-up games.
In fact, a run of just one win in nine features a defeat to Italy and only a narrow victory in Wales last November, leading to many seeing former England boss Jones’ return to the Australia helm as the last roll of a dice for a team bang out of ideas.
The two-time champions do, however, have a favourable draw with an out-of-sorts Wales side and Fiji for company in Pool C, along with minnows Georgia and Portugal. The eastern Europeans have never beaten a top-level side at the World Cup before.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Australia vs Georgia takes place on Saturday September 9, 2023, with kick-off at 5pm BST.
The Stade de France in Paris will host the match.
Where to watch Australia vs Georgia
TV channel: In the UK, the game will be shown live on free-to-air channel ITV1, with coverage starting at 4:45pm.
Live stream: Fans will also be able to watch a free live stream online via the ITVX website and app.
Australia vs Georgia team news
Jones made the surprise decision to drop former captain Michael Hooper and fly-half Quade Cooper from his youthful Australia squad that averages just 19 caps per player. Towering La Rochelle lock Will Skelton takes the armband instead.
Prop James Slipper misses the opener due to a foot injury. Samu Kerevi is fit to start, while Waratahs’ Ben Donaldson makes a surprise start at full-back, replacing Andrew Kellaway.
Marika Koroibete is back on the wing, while the pack is the same as Jones drafts in Lalakai Foketi to the bench in place of Matt Phillip.
Lyon full-back Davit Niniashvili will be key to Georgia’s offensive game. The vast majority of their players are either based in France or Georgia.
Beka Gorgadze is back at No8, with Luka Ivanishvili and Tornike Jalaghonia also featuring in a rejigged back row. Beka Saghinadze is training after injury but not yet ready to feature.
Australia vs Georgia lineups
Australia XV: Donaldson; Nawaqanitawase, Petaia, Kerevi, Koroibete; Gordon, McDermott; Bell, Porecki, Tupou; Arnold, Skelton (c); McReight, Hooper, Valentini
Replacements: Faessler, Schoupp, Nonggorr, Leota, Gleeson, White, Foketi, Vunivalu
Georgia XV: Niniashvili; Tabutsadze; Tapladze; Sharikadze (c), Modebadze; Matkava, Lobzhanidze; Abuladze, Mamukashvili, Papidze; Cheishvili, Mikautadze; Jalaghonia, Ivanishvili, Gorgadze
Replacements: Zamtaradze, Gogichashvili, Gigashvili, Jaiani, Tsutskiridze, Aprasidze, Abzhandadze, Kveseladze
Australia vs Georgia prediction
It has been a poor build-up to the World Cup for the Wallabies and defeat in this game would be just the latest bullet point in their decline, however they should still have the talent to avoid a major upset.
Australia to win, by over 10 points.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
This will be the two teams’ second meeting after Australia ran out 27-8 winners in the 2019 World Cup group stage.
Australia vs Georgia latest odds
Australia to win: 1/25
Georgia to win: 14/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).