Mela gets swansong against SA 'A'

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:32
Large french baabaas team picture 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Veteran lock Arnaud Méla will play the last two matches of a long and distinguished career against South Africa A.

The 37-year-old second row forward has been named to start  for the French Barbarians, against SA 'A' in Durban this coming Friday and - barring injury - will conclude his playing days  in the second match of the series at the Orlando Stadium a week later.

Although he has played only four Tests for France, all in 2008, he has 290 first class games for Brive and Albi to his credit.

He will take up a coaching role with Albi when he returns to France from the two-week trip to South Africa.

The French BaaBaas will be captained by Frédéric Michalak.

The Barbarians will also be able to count on a very young and promising loose forward combination - spearheaded by Judicaël Cancoriet.

The BaaBaas were further boosted by the inclusion of centre Jonathan Danty (Stade Français) and loose forward Anthony Jelonch (Castres), who were members of the French tour squad that started their June tour with a 14-37 loss to the Springboks in Pretoria last week.

Barbarians Français: 15 Louis Dupichot, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Jonathan Danty, 12 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 11 Arthur Bonneval, 10  Frédéric Michalak (captain), 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Judicaël Cancoriet, 6 Anthony Jelonch, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Rémi Bonfils, 1 Khatchik Vartanov.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Clément Ric, 18 Tommy Raynaud, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Romain Sazy, 21 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Clément Poitrenaud.

Date: Friday, June 16
Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Kick-off: 16.45 (14.45 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Vusi Msibi (South Africa), Blake Beattie (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)