France v Japan, Rugby World Cup, September 10
France roll out the big guns
September 5, 2011
France head coach Marc Lievremont has named a strong side for his side's World Cup opener © Getty Images
Marc Lievremont is clearly not underestimating the threat posed by Japan as the France head coach has named a strong line-up for their Rugby World Cup meeting in Auckland on Sunday.
The side shows nine changes in total to the one which defeated Ireland their final warm-up game just over a fortnight ago. Behind the scrum, Francois Trinh-Duc returns at the expense of David Skrela, as expected, while Dimitri Yachvili has been preferred to Morgan Parra at No.9. In the only other alteration to the back-line which started in Dublin, winger Vincent Clerc takes the place of Alexis Palisson in the back three.
In the pack, loose-head prop Fabien Barcella and hooker William Servat are recalled to the front-row, despite concerns over the former's match fitness. Julien Pierre gets the nod ahead of Pascal Pape as Lionel Nallet's partner in the second-row, while there is a start in the back-row for Raphael Lakafia, who only made his debut at the Aviva Stadium. The 22-year-old Biarritz No.8 will be flanked by captain Thierry Dusautoir and veteran openside Imanol Harinordoquy.
France: Cedric Heymans; Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Fabrice Estebanez, Maxime Medard; Francois Trinh-Duc, Dimitri Yachvili; Fabien Barcella, William Servat, Nicolas Mas; Julien Pierre, Lionel Nallet; Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Imanol Harinordoquy, Raphael Lakafia.
Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Pascal Pape, Julien Bonnaire, Morgan Parra, David Skrela, David Marty.
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