Planet Rugby

Piutau set to start against France

06th November 2013 10:46


Charles Piutau NZ training 2013

Charles Piutau: Could take an ill Julian Savea's place on the wing

All Blacks utility back Charles Piutau's impressive form in his debut Test season could see him replacing an ill Julian Savea against France on Saturday.

Savea, who has been New Zealand's first-choice left wing in 2013, has played no part in the build-up for the Test in Paris although All Blacks captain Richie McCaw revealed the big number 11 has progressed well, having been told by medical staff he would be bed-ridden for two days.

But All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster feels comfortable about the prospect of Piutau starting on the wing against France.

"The fact that he's done it on the right wing (Wallabies) and then the left wing (Japan), he's answered a few questions there," Foster told AAP.

"He's been very, very level-headed about his game. He's made some really good decisions on the park.

"He hasn't tried to overplay his hand, but when he's asked to do a role on the park, he's done it really physically and added a lot of skill to it."

Apart from Savea's absence, there shouldn't be other major changes who beat the Wallabies 41-33 in Dunedin, although Dan Carter and McCaw are poised to return to the starting XV.

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