Planet Rugby



Unchanged half-backs for France

21st November 2013 11:45


France number ten Remi Tales

At fly-half: Rémi Talès

France have named their team to face South Africa on Saturday with just one change made to the starting XV that played the All Blacks a fortnight ago.

For the first time, coach Philippe Saint-André has retained his half-back pairing for three consecutive Tests as Rémi Talès and Morgan Parra continue to lead the French attack.

Having rested a handful of players for last week's clash with Tonga, Saint-André reverts to the starting side that pushed New Zealand close, with the exception of Sofiane Guitoune, who wins his second cap on the wing in the place of Maxime Medard.

There are however a number of changes to the bench with prop Thomas Domingo, loose forward Yannick Nyanga, playmaker Frédéric Michalak and big centre Mathieu Bastareaud added.

There is also a start for lock Yoann Maestri, despite him having been sent off for fighting against Tonga.

Maestri was facing a lengthy suspension for his actions but a disciplinary committee took a lenient view and he was spared any match bans.

"This is a team which shows a lot of continuity from the first two games," said Saint-André.

"We are getting ourselves ready for a huge challenge taking on the second best team in the world. They put a lot of intensity into their games and are very physical. It will be a top-class match."

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 114 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Frédéric Michalak, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Date: Saturday, November 23
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 20:00 local (18:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

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