South Africa

Saint-Andre keeps the faith for Boks

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 13:12
Morgan-parra-h_s Remi-tales-france Morgan-parra-france-passes

French coach Philippe Saint-Andre appears to finally have settled on a preferred halfback combination, after almost two years of 'trials'.

Saint-Andre, who has fallen back on the core of the squad that ran New Zealand close a fortnight ago, has named Morgan Parra at scrumhalf and Remi Tales at flyhalf in the team to face South Africa in Paris on Saturday.

It is the third match in succession these two will partner at halfback, after Saint-Andre had tried out 10 different halfback combinations since he was appointed after the 2011 World Cup Final.

He also resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to the side which lost to New Zealand.

Sofiane Guitoune, who replaces Maxime Medard on the wing, is the only change to the line-up beaten 26-19 by the All Blacks 12 days ago.

Although Saint-Andre had overhauled the team beaten by New Zealand for last weekend's Tonga Test, which France won 38-18, he reverted back to what appears to be France's best combination.

France have had a rough year, losing four times in a row against New Zealand, winning only two from their 10 outings.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Frédéric Michalak, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

Date: Saturday, November 23
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 21.00 (20.00 GMT; 22.00 SA time)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

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