France select hefty backrow

2009-11-09 11:20

Marcoussis - France will rely on a heavyweight backrow to try and contain world champions South Africa in their Test in Toulouse on Friday.

Kick-off is at 21:45 SA time.

Regular No 8 Imanol Harinordoquy has been switched to blindside flank with Louis Picamoles packing into the back of the scrum and captain Thierry Dusautoir starting at openside flank.

"We picked a backrow that offers a lot of guarantees in terms of power and experience," coach Marc Lievremont told a news conference at the team's training camp in Marcoussis on Monday.

Asked if he had considered selecting Sebastien Chabal in the backrow, the French coach answered with a blunt "no" before adding: "Even if he his less explosive than Chabal, Picamoles has proved his worth in terms of power."

Lievremont kept faith with Julien Dupuy, the former Leicester scrumhalf now with Stade Francais, and flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc, who both played in France's 27-22 win over New Zealand in June, but re-jigged other parts of the backline. Damien Traille was moved from centre to fullback to counter the aggressive field kicking of the Springboks.

Traille's move allowed for the selection of the youthful centre pairing of Maxime Mermoz, a 23-year-old with four Test caps, and 21-year-old Yann David, who will earn his second cap.

"Maxime is the in-form centre of the French championship but we had a long discussion before selecting Yann ahead of David Marty who is Mermoz's team-mate with Perpignan," Lievremont said.

"We went for the robustness of David because we think power will be important against the Springboks."


15-Damien Traille, 14-Vincent Clerc, 13-Yann David, 12-Maxime Mermoz, 11-Cedric Heymans, 10-Francois Trinh-Duc, 9-Julien Dupuy, 8-Louis Picamoles, 7-Imanol Harinordoquy, 6-Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5-Romain Millo-Chluski, 4-Lionel Nallet, 3-Nicolas Mas, 2-William Servat, 1-Fabien Barcella

Replacements: 16-Dimitri Szarzewski, 17-Sylvain Marconnet, 18-Sebastien Chabal, 19-Julien Bonnaire, 20-Morgan Parra, 21-David Marty, 22-Maxime Medard


  • Dude - 2009-11-09 11:24

    This is going to be a good game, strong team this

  • jaco - 2009-11-09 11:32

    this is a good team - if you look at what the cheetahs did to the springbok frontrow of the sharks, it was almost embarassing - if we are not picking the right team we are in for a hiding

  • Mark,Perth - 2009-11-09 11:35


  • Redge - 2009-11-09 11:40

    Bring it on France! Give us your best shot we need a little competition after the easy Lions tour and Tri Nations!!

  • Sarren - 2009-11-09 11:52

    We will have too much experience for them - Bok's to win by at least 10....

  • @Mark from Perth - 2009-11-09 11:55

    You're a chop.

  • Mark - 2009-11-09 12:00

    Another "Bridge too far"?

  • JAWS - 2009-11-09 12:14

    Jirre, its a late kick -off but never the less, definately will be a wake up game for the Bokke!!!

  • oooOO - 2009-11-09 12:15

    Pity Spies is injured,I'd like to see him take on Chabal,but I'm sure when he comes on, Kankowski will have his number(that'd be 18 this week). Even Johnson can take him down!!! Can't wait to see Div's team,some players(though not a lot) really impressed on Friday and the fight between Schalk and Brussouw for the 6 must be 50/50,though I like the idea of Schalk coming off the bench as an impact player,with at least 30 minutes to play

  • Bok supporter - 2009-11-09 12:19

    Jaco, you know less about rugby. Our current front row won both the Tri-nations and the Lions series.

  • Uncle H - 2009-11-09 12:21

    Some big names on the bench. If the guys in the starting line-up are better than those on the bench and the French take the match seriously, it is going to be a cracker.

  • Mark,Perth - 2009-11-09 12:41

    @Redge-Please man don't start,BIL was easy? WHAT ABOUT THE LAST GAME? It was a walkover for the visitors in your own home soil.You almost didn't win the tri nations if it wasn't for the AB's slip up in New Zealand. The AB came back to the game late,if there were a few more minutes to play in that game in NZ you'll have lost that game and the AB will have wrapped up the TRi-Nations against Oz in the last game.Don't be too proud my boy,the Springboks are going to be white washed in Europe.

  • Bradford Koopman - 2009-11-09 12:49

    Go New Zealand!!

  • gybs - 2009-11-09 12:52

    Bok supporter you have short memory - the Wallabies and AB's gave "that" front-row a torrid time on more than one occassion. Claiming to have won the Super 14/ Tri-Nations with that front-row as an argument to counter the Northern teams in "their" conditions does not answer the question. Look what the Leceister team did to the Boks, don't claim it was the "second-team" as a reply. They donned the Bok jersey for the night! And the French at home with nothing to lose as they enter as underdogs??!!! I would be very cautious to call it.

  • Frost @ Jaco - 2009-11-09 12:57

    One quickly forgets what the Springbok front row of the Sharks did to the B&I Lions and Australia & NZ. Fatique is possible when you are shoving everyone back. They have rested a little now. Wait & See.

  • @ oooOO - 2009-11-09 13:02

    Can't wait for the Bakkies-Seabass clash. Bak en Pierrie, Bak en Pierrie... niemand kan daai twee keerie!

  • Grant - 2009-11-09 13:14

    To Mark in Perth...If.....if...if.... Not very sound arguments dude. The game is 80 minutes long deal with it! If you cant win in the regular time you arent the best.The last game against the BIL was our development twam anybody knows that!

  • Stephen - 2009-11-09 13:14

    @Mark,Perth - And people wonder why we get the Arrogant Oz comments. Ifs and buts is so stupid I can easily play that game. Well if the Boks win one game I hope you post something, but being a classless Aussie you probably wont. @Bradford Koopman, hows Mitchells Plein today - weather good? In your next tea break at the call centre will you post again

  • Grant - 2009-11-09 13:33

    @Mark, Perth...... Bitter is the taste in your mouth that the AB and OZ are the underdogs when it comes to SA. Sure all teams have their ups and downs, records and achievement...But the fact is we have EVERY trophy that we could. It comes down to being the BEST team in the world. I generally agree with your comments, but to state that we will be white washed is childish and again bitter! Grow up, actually we will wait for the results and then we can chat.

  • Dilligaf - 2009-11-09 13:37

    @ Mark Perth, Stop telling us how things could have been for the Bokke, why don;t you tell us how great Austrailian rugby is at the moment.

  • Zerok - 2009-11-09 13:38

    To all of you who are podering on the past games - get a life! The Boks won the BIL tour and the Tri-Nats and it will go down in the history books, and they deserved it! The game is 80 minutes and there is no ifs and buts. The France game is going to be interesting as they are always very unpredictable but I believe we can win. we will have to see how the combinations of the missing FS and JDV link up. Will me miss them?? Only time will tell. By the way NZ did not look all that gr against wales....when was the last time they won a WC???

  • Dan - 2009-11-09 13:40

    I'm not a Sharks supporter, but they've got the best front row by far and should make up the test front row. The back up front row is where our man Div went wrong. It should have been made up by a combination of Cheetahs and WP players, who gave Gurthro & kie a hard time in the CC. If this was done, we could have been spared last Friday's embarresment.

  • PhatCat - 2009-11-09 13:44

    I am a Springbok supporter through and through, but I really am having my doubts about the France and Ireland games. These end of year tours seem designed to give the Northern Hemisphere teams a chance to beat the seriously fatigued Southern teams, who go into these matches at the end of a season that started in Feb with the Super 14. I really think the IRB should start considering the classic 5-test series again, where each team plays two series a year, 1 home and 1 away for a total of 10 tests per year. Surely that would be more interesting than these one-off tests and the rapidly-becoming-boring Tri-nations? Anyway, I don't want to be negative, but I suspect we may lose to France. If not, it's going to be a nail-bitingly tight game.

  • KC - 2009-11-09 13:45

    To all of you who are podering on the past games - get a life! The Boks won the BIL tour and the Tri-Nats and it will go down in the history books, and they deserved it! The game is 80 minutes and there is no ifs and buts. The France game is going to be interesting as they are always very unpredictable but I believe we can win. we will have to see how the combinations of the missing FS and JDV link up. Will me miss them?? Only time will tell. By the way NZ did not look all that gr against wales....when was the last time they won a WC???

  • Magic - 2009-11-09 13:52

    I agree with gybs, our scrum is under severe pressure at the moment, look at the Currie Cup semi final where the Cheetahs killed the Sharks (and Springbok) front row. You cant sacrifice your scrum for having your captain on the field, rugby starts at the scrum. I think we will pull it through but we will have to make sure we do the basics right, you never know what France can deliver on the night!

  • Dominic - 2009-11-09 14:15

    Its great to see all this banter, it will be aheeck of a game. I see thee are few Aussies still sore about their team and looking for wxcuses in ours...hang in there mate, well done against then Poms. I hope the Bokke are wide awake for this one its going to be 8.45 pm in France

  • Bart - 2009-11-09 14:42

    Bienvenue aux Boks, cela va être un grand match !!!! Je serai à Toulouse vendredi soir pour profiter d'un des plus beaux rugby de la planète, avec à la clé j'espère une belle victoire tricolore. Allez les bleux, allez Bokka !!

  • AdR - 2009-11-09 15:03

    To Mark from Perth You know the story about One swallow making a summer Think about it

  • Huh - 2009-11-09 15:19

    @ Bart...In Afrikaans se ons "Praat Afrikaans of hou jou bek"...nee man, ek se mos nie die franse is n klomp mamparras(en hulle is) en sulke goed in Afrikaans dat jy dit nie verstaan nie? Verstaan jy?

  • @Mark - 2009-11-10 00:00

    Mark you are surely another cannabis smoking idiot now living in Perth (Cape Towns squatercamp) having a lot to say about the Boks simply because you couldn’t make it in SA. The last test against the Lions was our 3rd team because by then we had already f...d your precious softie soutpielietjies up. The Boks destroyed the AB’s and Wannabees in the Tri Nations except for the slipup in Brisbane. The Wannabees is a joke and will surely loose to the Poms as well. If you don’t have any cleaning in the house to do rather go to the soccer blogs and speak shit there.

  • Peet. - 2009-11-10 13:11

    To all of u, the tri nations is history, the WC 07 is history, the BIL is history. This is a new chapter in the rugby book, Wallabies win against the Poms, AB wins the Dragons, and the SA weekteam lost on Friday. So what I would like to suggest, start from zero again and make sure. The match is only on friday and you can t win it now or on News24. The team that plays, is the teams selected. If u support the Boks or French, may the best team win and we enjoy our rugby with insulting the next person. This is a free country, so support your team. And those who insult others, get a life, no more slaves, no Berlin wall, ect, freedom of speech so what you say, say it good.

  • chameleon - 2009-11-10 13:36

    gentlemen gentlemen, now now. let us not delve in the past. i know that in rugby the ball is passed backwards, but thid doesn't mean we have to argue about the past - what a preposterous waste of time! looking forward, i am in agreement with bart, who, in typically french style, is looking forward to a great game between two great rugby nations. (moenie stres nie huh, hy praat mooi en ek wens daar was meer soos hy!). and since not the all blacks, but the boks are playing france, it doesn't necessarily mean france will win. which makes it a great, exciting piece of rugby to look fwd to!

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