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Team tinkering keeps France on their toes

2015-09-30 19:27

London - France's players are enjoying the competition for places as coach Philippe Saint-Andre works out his strongest Rugby World Cup line-up, fullback Scott Spedding said on Wednesday.

The French top Pool D after wins over Italy and Romania, with Canada next in their sights in Milton Keynes on Thursday.

"It keeps everyone on their toes," Spedding told reporters. "Everyone is keen to play. At training everyone is putting their hand up to earn a spot and the coaches give everyone a chance."

Though a fortnight into the tournament, the players are none the wiser when it comes to what Saint-Andre considers his best side.

"We never know," Spedding said. "We have to prove ourselves each game. Things can change very fast. No one is safe and we have to earn our place each week, and that is a good thing."

Saint-Andre was critical of his team at halftime in their 38-11 win against Romania.

"That is part of the coach's job ... It was deserved, we weren't sticking to the team plan," Spedding said.

"It's not the first time I've taken a lashing like that, not just from Philippe. It was his way of getting us to react, and we reacted well to what he had to say."

Winger Remy Grosso will make his test debut against Canada after replacing the injured Yoann Huget in the squad.

"I don't know if you watched the Top 14 last season, but Remy was pretty much the best wing," Spedding said.

"He is really good, really strong, very hard. He will be up for the challenge. We know the Canadian wings are a handful, we saw what they were capable of against Italy.

"He has waited for a long time, he really deserves his shot and I think he is going to take it."

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