Two second-half tries by Morgan Turinui helped Australia survive a late scare and beat France 37-31 in Brisbane.
Morgan proved to be an inspired replacement
The Wallabies outscored France by six tries to four in the one-off Test and could have won by a much bigger margin.
But centre Matt Giteau's goalkicking was poor, succeeding just two of his
Australia, leading 15-7 at half-time, were forced to hang on after the break as the French hit back, but replacement Turinui finally settled their nerves.
Giteau opened the scoring for Australia with an early penalty.
But French winger Cedric Heymans pounced to intercept a Chris Latham pass and cross for the first try.
Australia hit back with tries by fly-half Stephen Larkham and fullback Latham to establish a comfortable lead.
But France scored immediately after the interval, with wing Julien Laharrague going over.
They also scored tries through Damien Traille and Julien Candelon, with captain Jean-Baptiste Elissalde kicking four out of four conversions, plus a penalty.
Australia: Chris Latham; Wendell Sailor, Stirling Mortlock,
Matt Giteau, Lote Tuqiri; Stephen Larkham, George Gregan (capt);
David Lyons, George Smith, Rocky Elsom; Nathan Sharpe, Mark
Chisholm; Al Baxter, Jeremy Paul, Bill Young. Replacements used: Morgan Turinui, Chris Whitaker, Mat Rogers, John Roe, Al Campbell, Matt Dunning, Stephen Moore.
France: Nicolas Brusque; Julien Laharrague, Yannick Jauzion,
Benoit Baby, Cedric Heymans; Frederic Michalak, Jean-Baptiste
Elissalde (capt); Julien Bonnaire, Olivier Magne, Remy Martin;
Pascal Pape, Gregory Lamboley; Denis Avril, Dimitri Swarzewski,
Olivier Milloud. Replacements used: Yannick Nyanga, Sylvain Marconnet, Pieter De Villiers, Sebastien Bruno, Damien Traille, Julien Candelon, Thibault
Referee: Nigel Williams (Wales)