Monday, September 25, 2023
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France back to premium version for Namibia game

France coach Fabien Galthie has recalled his premium players for their third Pool A match against Namibia as Les Bleus look to pick up momentum after a see-saw start to their World Cup campaign.

France started in inspired fashion with a 27-13 victory against New Zealand but the reserve side was largely disappointing as they beat Uruguay 27-12 six days later, leaving assistant coach Laurent Labit saying the team had done ‘too little’ so far.

A few tweaks were made from the team who played against the All Blacks, with loosehead prop Cyril Baille returning from injury to boost the French pack.

Left wing Louis Bielle-Biarrey is handed his second start in a row at the expense of Gabin Villiere while Anthony Jelonch, who made his comeback from a long-term injury against Uruguay, starts at No.8 with Gregory Alldritt being rested after picking up a minor knee injury during training on Monday.

Francois Cros will start as blindside flanker while Jonathan Danty is back at centre after nursing a thigh injury.

France top Pool A with eight points from two games, three ahead of three-time world champions New Zealand.

FRANCE: 15-Thomas Ramos, 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Gael Fickou, 12-Jonathan Danty, 11-Louis Bielle-Biarry, 10-Matthieu Jalibert, 9-Antoine Dupont, 8-Anthony Jelonch, 7-Charles Ollivon, 6-Francois Cros, 5-Thibaud Flament, 4-Cameron Woki, 3-Uini Atonio, 2-Peato Mauvaka, 1-Cyril Baille. Replacements: 16-Pierre Bourgarit, 17-Reda Wardi, 18-Dorian Aldegheri, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Paul Boudehent, 21-Baptiste Couilloud, 22-Yoram Moefana, 23-Melvyn Jaminet.

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