Noves plumps for 7 France debutants

2016-06-17 12:45
jules plisson, rugby
Jules Plisson (Getty Images)

Tucuman - France coach Guy Noves has picked seven uncapped players to face Argentina in the first of two international Test matches in Tucuman on Sunday.

With the French Top 14 playoffs only reaching the semi-final stage this weekend, Noves is shorn of a number of his first-choice players, such as Racing 92 scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud, Clermont centre Wesley Fofana and hooker and captain Guilhem Guirado of Toulon.

It means that Stade Francais hooker Remi Bonfils, locks William Demotte of Agen and Bordeaux-Begles' Julien Le Devedec, La Rochelle No 8 Kevin Gourdon, 21-year-old Bordeaux-Begles scrum-half Baptiste Serin and his club team-mate centre Julien Rey, as well as 22-year-old Grenoble wing Xavier Mignot will all make their debuts from the start.

There are also three uncapped players on the bench in Bordeaux-Begles hooker Clement Maynadier, Brive prop Lucas Pointud and Oyonnax lock Fabrice Metz.

It is one of the youngest and most inexperienced French teams in history with an average of just 4.3 caps per player and a mean age of 25 years four months.

Stade Francais prop Rabah Slimani is the most experienced player with 26 caps while his 25-year-old club team-mate Jules Plisson is captaining the side.

Only Slimani, fellow-prop Jefferson Poirot and flank Loann Gujon played in France's last international match, a 31-21 Six Nations defeat at home to England in March.

Yet Noves has gone for some experience on the bench with burly Toulouse No 8 Louis Picamoles, New Zealander-born La Rochelle prop Uini Atonio, flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc and Toulouse backs Gael Fikou and Sebastien Bezy on the bench.

Those last four all played against England while Picamoles would have been included but for injury.

Trinh-Duc's Montpellier side are still involved in the Top 14 playoffs but the 29-year-old, who will join Toulon next season, was released by South African coach Jake White, who has preferred his countryman Demetri Catrakilis at flyhalf.

France and Argentina will play a second international Test match next weekend, also in Tucuman.

The Pumas beat Italy 30-24 in Santa Fe last week while this will be France's first June international.



15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matas Moroni, 12 Juan Martin Hernandez, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Javier Ortega Desio, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago Garca Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Ramiro Moyano


15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Julien Rey, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson (captain), 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Raphaël Lakafia, 6 Loann Goujon, 5 William Demotte, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Rémi Bonfils, 1 Jefferson Poirot 

Substitutes:16 Clément Maynadier, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Lucas Pointud, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 François Trinh-Duc, 23 Gaël Fickou

Read more on:    pumas  |  france  |  guy noves  |  rugby

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