Louis Picamoles to start for France

Date published: November 8 2018

Montpellier number eight Louis Picamoles has been named in France‘s starting line-up that will take on South Africa in Paris on Saturday.

This will be Picamoles’ first start for Les Bleus since their 23-23 draw with Japan in Naterre last November.

France head coach Jacques Brunel has made 13 changes in all to his run-on side which suffered a 49-14 defeat to New Zealand in Dunedin, in their last Test in June.

Teddy Thomas (wing) and Yoann Maestri (lock) are the only survivors from that encounter which was the last of a three-Test series which the All Blacks won 3-0.

Picamoles is joined in the back-row by flankers Arthur Iturria and Wenceslas Lauret while Sebastien Vahaamahina packs down next to Maestri in the second-row. Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado will captain the side and Cedate Gomes Sa and Jefferson Poirot are the two props.

In the backline, Clermont fly-half Camille Lopez is over his injury worries and will wear the number 10 jersey while Baptiste Serin will start at scrum-half and Geoffrey Doumayrou and Mathieu Bastareaud form the centre paring.

Maxime Medard lines up at full-back while Thomas is joined out wide by Damian Penaud, who makes his first appearance for France on the wing after playing as a centre in his five previous Tests.

France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Mathieu Babillot, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Gael Fickou

Date: Saturday, November 10
Venue: Stade de France
Kick-off: 21:05 local (20:05 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Tom Foley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)