France v New Zealand
France opt for tried and tested half-backs
ESPN Staff
November 7, 2013
Remi Tales starts at fly-half for France © Getty Images

France have named Remi Tales and Morgan Parra at half-back for their Test against the All Blacks on Saturday.

Despite Jonathan Pelissie arguably being the in-form scrum-half in French rugby, Philippe Saint-Andre has stuck with the tried and tested Parra at No.9 with Jean-Marc Doussain providing the back-up. Tales made his debut against the All Blacks in the summer, a series the French lost 3-0, and he keeps his spot at fly-half

Martin Gillingham on France

  • "France have won just one of eight Tests this year- 23-16 over Scotland in Paris in March. Saint-Andre could justifiably point to those statistics and claim they are skewed by the fact just two of those eight matches were at home while three of the other six were in New Zealand. Either way, it only serves to ramp up the pressure on Saint-Andre for whom this could prove to be the fortnight which defines his international coaching career." - Read the full article here
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In the back-row, Wenceslas Lauret makes his first start since 2010 while Thierry Dusautoir is named as skipper. Pascal Pape returns to the starting line-up after missing much of the Six Nations through injury.

"I picked Morgan for his experience and his kicking skills," Saint-Andre said. "We will have to be intelligent and focused defensively.

"It is important that the players believe in themselves, that they play with passion and intelligence, but most of all they must release the handbrake. There is obviously some fear when you face New Zealand. We should build on that fear, it must not annihilate us. We will need to run and be creative."


Brice Dulin, Yoann Huget, Florian Fritz, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Médard, Remi Tales, Morgan Parra; Yannick Forestier, Benjamin Kayser, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Papé, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Wenceslas Lauret, Damian Chouly

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Vincent Debaty, Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Antonie Claassen, Jean-Marc Doussain, Camille Lopez, Gael Fickou

Follow live text commentary of the Test between France and New Zealand on Saturday, November 9 from 8pm (GMT) 9am (Sunday, November 10 NZDT), 7am (Sunday, November 10 AEDT)

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