Jauzion set to start against All Blacks

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The Independent Online

France coach Marc Lièvremont has selected veteran centre Yannick Jauzion and flanker Fulgence Ouedraogo in his starting line-up to face New Zealand on Saturday.

Jauzion scored a fine try in last week's 43-5 thrashing of Samoa, and Ouedraogo is back after shaking off a shoulder injury that kept him out of France's 20-13 win over World Cup holders South Africa earlier this month.

The remainder of the team either started or came off the bench against South Africa.

Lièvremont said he thought New Zealand posed an even greater threat than South Africa. The All Blacks head to Marseilles on the back of consecutive wins against Australia, Wales, Italy and a 19-6 victory over England at Twickenham last weekend.

"New Zealand have found their form again. We fear them in every department," Lièvremont said. "They are a complete team once more with leaders like Richie McCaw and Dan Carter coming back in. Their squad is full of confidence."

Still, Lièvremont feels France – who feature eight Toulouse players – have closed the gap on the southern hemisphere teams after some encouraging performances.

Although the All Blacks have won their last three tests on French soil – twice just short of scoring 50 points – France won their World Cup quarter-final two years ago in Cardiff and then won 27-22 in Dunedin, New Zealand, in June before narrowly losing the second test 14-10. "We still feel like we can compete. I hope all the players realise what's at stake," Lièvremont said.

"If we are lucky enough to win three consecutive games for the first time (in an autumn Test series), you can say that we can live up to the title of favourites."

Scrum-half Julien Dupuy thinks New Zealand's players may fear the French are closing the gap on them. "The All Blacks weren't expecting us to play at that level in Dunedin. They will be out for revenge," Dupuy said yesterday.

He added that the All Blacks represented a different challenge to the South Africans, and that their win over the world champions would not have gone unnoticed in the New Zealand camp.

"They will want to give us a lesson this weekend... We will be ready to defend ourselves," Dupuy said. "It will be more complicated in the sense that South Africa are quite predictable. The All Blacks have a different culture, they attack everywhere [on the field], they are strong one-on-one. We will have to be good in every department."

France team to play New Zealand (Stade Velodrome, Saturday, 7.45pm): Traille; Clerc, Marty, Jauzion, Medard; Trinh-Duc, Dupuy; Barcella, Servat, Marconnet, Chabal, Millo-Chulski, Dusautoir (capt), Ouedraogo, Bonnaire. Replacements: Szarzewski, Mas, Nallet, Puricelli, Parra, David, Heymans.

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