Takairangi made his debut last weeks in New Zealand’s scrappy 38-8 over Samoa, and was rewarded with a try.
As one of five rookies that were named in David Kidwell’s squad, Takairangi wasn’t even expected to see the field until starter Dean Whare was a late scratching due to an injury sustained in training.
Whare will take the field this week, but at the expense of Gerard Beale, who is out of the tournament after suffering a non-contact ankle injury.
Beale underwent surgery this week for his ankle fracture, meaning that should Takairangi keep up his solid form, he should be a shoo-in at the centre spot each week.
However, the squad rotation that is necessitated by the World Cup format, to ensure most players are match fit, has seen former Cook Islands rep Jordan Rapana swapped from the starting line-up.
The reigning Dally M Winger of the Year continued his electric try-scoring form last week, dotting down against Samoa, and will likely be back in the starting XI for any must win matches.
Valentine Holmes, the Kangaroo’s star winger, will also be rested in Australia’s clash against France as coach Mal Meninga starts four test debutants.
Tom Trbojevic, Felise Kaufusi, Cameron Munster and Reagan Campbell-Gillard will make their Test debuts against the French minnows, who lost 29-18 to Lebanon in their first match.
In late news, half James Maloney may not make an appearance in tonight’s match for personal reasons.