Rugby-Galthie calls premium players, Charles Darwin for France game against Namibia
New Zealand destroyed Namibia 71-3, scoring 11 tries and although France will not be looking to emulate that performance, the scoreline will matter and the returns of Danty and Baille should help. "They are two players who have been in all our big battles in the last four years," Galthie said.
France coach Fabien Galthie recalled his premium players for their third Pool A match against Namibia as Les Bleus look to pick up momentum after a see-saw start to their World Cup campaign on Tuesday. France started in inspired fashion with a 27-13 victory against New Zealand but the reserve side was largely disappointing as they 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 boost the French pack with Galthie insisting being able to adjust to circumstances was key to a successful tournament. "We build our line-up on a weekly basis, there is no long-term plan in that area," Galthie told a press conference.
"We can talk about Darwin. His theory is that it is the strongest or the smartest who prevail, but those who can adjust and adapt." 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 number eight 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. Villiere and Jean-Baptiste Gros will not feature on the match sheet, but it does not mean Galthie is not counting on them.
"No, no, they've not been demoted. We have a rotation so other players will be involved against Namibia. We need everyone in the squad, especially those two," he said. New Zealand destroyed Namibia 71-3, scoring 11 tries and although France will not be looking to emulate that performance, the scoreline will matter and the returns of Danty and Baille should help.
"They are two players who have been in all our big battles in the last four years," Galthie said. "They're important players who have a lot of experience." The biggest boost, however, will come from scrumhalf Antoine Dupont and flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert.
"I'm happy to play. We were several players who needed to recuperate (after the New Zealand game) and we are now ready to deliver, in terms of result and performance," captain Dupont said. France top Pool A with eight points from two games, three ahead of three-time world champions New Zealand.
They will play their last pool game against Italy in two weeks before a potential quarter-final clash against Ireland or South Africa. Team:
15-Thomas Ramos, 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Gael Fickou, 12-Jonathan Danty, 11-Louis Bielle-Biarry, 10-Matthieu Jalibert, 9-Antoine Dupont, 8-Anthony Jelonch, 7-Charles Ollivon, 6-Francois Cros, 5-Thibaud Flament, 4-Cameron Woki, 3-Uini Atonio, 2-Peato Mauvaka, 1-Cyril Baille 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
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)