Rugby Championship

France drop captain for 'dead' All Blacks Test

2018-06-21 06:39
Mathieu Bastareaud (Gallo)

Dunedin - France have dropped skipper Mathieu Bastareaud and brought back Wesley Fofana in one of two changes for Saturday's third Test against the All Blacks in Dunedin.

Benjamin Fall, the fullback sent off in the second Test but whose red card was later rescinded, retained the No 15 jersey in the team named on Thursday.

Veteran scrumhalf Morgan Parra will take over the captaincy in a remarkable return to favour after being overlooked for French selection following the 2015 World Cup quarter-final loss to New Zealand until this three-Test tour.

Bastareaud, who has played an impressive 30 games for Toulon and France this season, didn't even make the bench for the dead rubber after New Zealand won the first Test 52-11 and took the second 26-13.

His partner in midfield during the first two Tests, Geoffrey Doumayrou, twisted an ankle in Wellington last weekend and has been replaced by Remi Lamerat who plays alongside Fofana for Clermont.

The 30-year-old Fofana, who played the last of his 44 Tests against the All Blacks in Paris in November 2016, was sidelined for the first two matches of this series by a thigh injury.

On the bench, lock Felix Lambey is poised to make a Test debut.

Teams:

New Zealand

15 Benjamin Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock (captain), 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo'unga, 23 Jordie Barrett

France

15 Ben Fall, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Morgan Parra (captain), 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Kelian Galletier, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Dany Priso

Substitutes: 16 Adrien Pelissie, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Maxime Medard

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