France v South Africa, Toulouse, November 13
France opt for power against Boks
November 11, 2009
France No.8 Imanol Harinordoquy powers forward, Ireland v France, Six Nations Championship, Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland, February 7 2009
Imanol Harinordoquy starts on the openside for France © Getty Images

France coach Marc Lievremont has bolstered his pack ahead the showdown with South Africa in Toulouse on Friday night.

Toulouse's Louis Picamoles will pack down at No.8 for his side's opening clash of the autumn with Biarritz's Imanol Harinordoquy switching to blindside flanker. Captain Thierry Dusautoir completes a formidable trio at openside as the hosts aim to shackle the world champions.

Stade Francais scrum-half Julien Dupuy will resume his partnership with Montpellier fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc with the duo having helped steer France to a memorable 27-22 victory over New Zealand in June. Lievremont has opted to make changes elsewhere with Biarritz's Damien Traille switching from centre to fullback and Perpignan's Maxim Mermoz and Toulouse's Yann David forming a new-look centre partnership.

The starting Springboks XV shows four changes from the side that lifted the Tri-Nations title with victory over the All Blacks in September, with Zane Kirchner returning for his second cap at fullback.

Kirchner replaces Francois Steyn, now playing in France, while Adi Jacobs steps in at inside-centre in place of Jean de Villiers, who has begun his sabbatical with Munster. Ryan Kankowski starts at No.8 in place of the injured Pierre Spies and wing JP Pietersen returns from injury out wide.

Morne Steyn and Fourie du Preez remain at halfback, with Schalk Burger shifting to the blindside in place of the injured Juan Smith.

France: Damien Traille, Vincent Clerc, Yann David, Maxime Mermoz, Cedric Heymans, Francois Trinh-Duc, Julien Dupuy, Fabien Barcella, William Servat, Nicolas Mas, Lionel Nallet, Romain Millo-Chluski, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Imanol Harinordoquy, Louis Picamoles

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Sylvain Marconnet, Sebastien Chabal, Julien Bonnaire, Morgan Parra, David Marty, Maxime Medard

South Africa: Zane Kirchner; JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Adi Jacobs, Bryan Habana; Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, John Smit (capt), Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Ryan Kankowski

Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez, CJ van der Linde, Andries Bekker, Danie Rossouw, Ruan Pienaar, Wynand Olivier


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