France v Ireland, Bordeaux, August 13
Lakafia handed French bow
ESPNscrum Staff
August 10, 2011
France's Dimitri Yachvili spots team-mate Raphael Lakafia, France training session, Marcoussis, south of Paris, france, June 30, 2011
Yachvili will work alongside Lakafia once again on Saturday © Getty Images

France have handed a debut to Biarritz back-row Raphael Lakafia for their Test against Ireland in Bordeaux on Saturday.

The uncapped 22-year-old was today named in Marc Lievremont's starting line-up for Les Bleus' first World Cup warm-up game. He will feature alongside France captain Thierry Dusautoir and club skipper Imanol Harinordoquy in a formidable back-row.

"We wanted to integrate Raphael Lakafia," Lievremont said. "He will be well surrounded by Dusautoir, Harinordoquy and Dimitri Yachvili.

"We want to have consistency and have two good matches by lining up two homogenous groups. It is a mixture of youth and experience in all areas."

Vincent Clerc has been named on the wing despite nursing a knee injury, with prop Fabien Barcella named 23rd man notwithstanding an elbow problem. Maxime Mermoz will line up in the French side for only the second time since August 2010 following problems with injuries.

Lievremont's side will face Ireland at home this weekend and then in Dublin on August 20 - where Lievremont is expected to name a completely different starting XV - before kicking off their World Cup campaign against Japan in North Shore City on September 10.

France: Damien Traille; Vincent Clerc, David Marty, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson; Francois Trinh-Duc, Dimitri Yachvili; Sylvain Marconnet, Dimitri Szarzewski, Luc Ducalcon, Pierre, Romain Millo-Chluski, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Imanol Harinordoquy, Raphael Lakafia

Replacements: Guilhem Guirado, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Lionel Nallet, Julien Bonnaire, Morgan Parra, David Skrela, Max Medard

23rd man: Fabien Barcella

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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