Parra starts, Bastareaud dropped

2015-10-15 12:45
Morgan Parra (Gallo)

Newport - France called up Morgan Parra and dropped Mathieu Bastareaud to the bench among three changes to their side to play New Zealand in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre handed starts to Parra, centre Alexandre Dumoulin and South Africa-born flank Bernard Le Roux for the crunch match at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

"Against New Zealand we know that if we want to win we need to play on the front foot," Saint-Andre said.

"We know that if we don't play well we are back home on Sunday with our head on the floor."

Parra comes in for Tillous-Borde, who misses out on the match-day 23 altogether as South African-born Rory Kockott is named on the bench.

Tillous-Borde has started 10 of France's last 13 Test matches, one of Saint-Andre's key men, but was discarded for the experienced, goal-kicking Parra, himself a key player under Saint-Andre's predecessor Marc Lievremont.

But it will be only the third time Parra has linked up with Michalak, who will retain kicking duties.

"Morgan starts, he's a big competitor. We've decided to start him and we're counting on his leadership skills, especially with the forwards," said Saint-Andre, still smarting from last weekend's comprehensive 24-9 defeat by Ireland.

"I expect first we get more ball than last week because the set piece wasn't good.

"We need more ball and to use it and play rugby. Last week, we were 70 percent in defence and only 30 percent in attack."

Kockott, the coach added, was a handy "match-winner" to have on the bench, which he said had not performed as he had wanted against Ireland.

Dumoulin replaces Bastareaud in midfield, the Racing player offering up greater fluidity and a decent passing game after Bastareaud's one-dimensional crash-ball tactic was cruelly exposed in last week's defeat by Ireland.

Bastareaud is among the replacements, Le Roux moving up to take the place of Damien Chouly on the openside and Yannick Nyanga named as cover in a more dynamic option.

There is no specialist lock among the eight replacements, hooker Dimitri Szarzewski taking the place of Benjamin Kayser, Vincent Debaty and Nicolas Mas providing extra frontrow cover, with Chouly replacing Alexandre Flanquart.

The back three remains the same with Brice Dulin and Fiji-born Noa Nakaitaci on the wings in front of full back Scott Spedding, a third member of the squad born in South Africa and assigned long-range kicking duties.

No 8 Louis Picamoles partners Le Roux and captain Thierry Dusautoir in the backrow. The front five remains unchanged, Yoann Maestri and Pascal Pape in the boiler house with Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado and Eddy Ben Arous forming the front row.

Dusautoir is one of four survivors of the starting team that lost 8-7 to New Zealand in the final of the 2011 World Cup along with Parra, who then played flyhalf, Mas and Pape. Szarzewski was also involved as a replacement.

The flank also started in the famous 20-18 quarter-final win over the All Blacks in the 2007 World Cup, while Michalak and Szarzewski came on as replacements.

Dusautoir, Pape, Picamoles and Bastareaud all started France's last win against the All Blacks in 2009 in Dunedin, Szarzewski and Mas coming on from the bench that day.



15 Scott Spedding, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Alexandre Dumoulin, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Brice Dulin, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous

Substitutes: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Damien Chouly, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

New Zealand:

15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett

Substitutes 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Sonny Bill Williams

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