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Wallaby tighthead prop Ben Alexander out of France tests due to neck injury, replaced by Ryan

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SYDNEY - Tighthead prop Ben Alexander will miss Australia's three-test series against France with of a nerve compression injury.

The Australian Rugby Union said in a statement Sunday that the 61-test Wallaby would be replaced by Paddy Ryan in the 32-man training squad ahead of the first test against France on Saturday in Brisbane.

The second and third tests are to be played on the following Saturdays in Melbourne and Sydney.

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie said the tough French forward pack played a part in the decision to rest Alexander.

McKenzie says "when you consider the challenge we'll face against an extremely physical and abrasive French scrum, we all agreed it would be better suited for Ben to use the upcoming period to rehab the injury and regain his strength."

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