France recall star names for Namibia test at Rugby World Cup

Fabien Galthie’s side stuttered in a scrappy win over Uruguay last week so will look to the likes of Antoine Dupont to help them regain momentum

Julien Pretot
Tuesday 19 September 2023 12:01 BST
<p>Antoine Dupont is back to skipper France </p>

Antoine Dupont is back to skipper France

France coach Fabien Galthie recalled his premium players for their third Pool A match against Namibia as the hosts look to pick up momentum after a see-saw start to their Rugby World Cup campaign.

Les Bleus started in inspired fashion with a 27-13 victory against New Zealand but the reserve side was largely disappointing as they only beat Uruguay 27-12 six days later, leaving assistant coach Laurent Labit saying the team had done ‘too little’ so far.

A few tweaks were made from the team who played against the All Blacks, with loosehead prop Cyril Baille returning from injury to play for the first time this tournament and boost the French pack.

Left wing Louis Bielle-Biarrey is handed his second start in a row at the expense of Gabin Villiere while Anthony Jelonch, who made his comeback from a long-term injury against Uruguay, starts at No 8 with Gregory Alldritt being rested after picking up a minor knee injury during training on Monday.

Francois Cros will start as blindside flanker while Jonathan Danty is back at centre after nursing a thigh injury and talismanic scrum half Antoine Dupont returns to captain the side.

France top Pool A with eight points from two games, three ahead of three-time world champions New Zealand.

France team: 15. Thomas Ramos; 14. Damian Penaud, 13. Gael Fickou, 12. Jonathan Danty, 11. Louis Bielle-Biarry; 10. Matthieu Jalibert, 9. Antoine Dupont; 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Peato Mauvaka, 3. Uini Atonio, 4. Cameron Woki, 5. Thibaud Flament, 6. Francois Cros, 7. Charles Ollivon, 8. Anthony Jelonch

Replacements: 16. Pierre Bourgarit, 17. Reda Wardi, 18. Dorian Aldegheri, 19. Romain Taofifenua, 20. Paul Boudehent, 21. Baptiste Couilloud, 22. Yoram Moefana, 23. Melvyn Jaminet


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