Captain back in French lineup vs Australia
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — France recalled captain Thierry Dusautoir as part of 10 changes to its starting lineup for Saturday’s second rugby test against Australia.
Dusautoir will be joined on the team by flyhalf Remi Tales and center Mathieu Bastareaud, who both sat out last Saturday’s 50-23 loss to the Wallabies after a late arrival in Australia following the French Top 14 domestic final.
“We had to make changes, it was a very poor performance from our side,” coach Philippe Saint-Andre said Wednesday after naming his team.
“Australia played very well after we had some key players injured or involved for the (Top 14) final. Some guys didn’t perform well from last week and they didn’t deserve to be in the starting 15. We know that we are not favorite but I just hope it will be a better contest than last week.”
Props Alexandre Menini and Rabah Slimani have also been named to the lineup, along with Yannick Nyanga and fullback Brice Dulin.
Morgan Parra was selected at halfback after scoring one try and helping set up another in his 10-minute appearance off the bench at Brisbane.
Louis Picamoles was named on the bench and Damien Chouly retained the No. 8 spot in other changes to the 23-man squad.
Saint-Andre said having flanker Dusautoir back after more than six months on the sidelines with a left arm injury will be big boost for his team.
“It’s important for the leadership, for the experience, his facility to go to a higher level and for our team not to panic because we panic too much,” he said. “Of course he’s a very important player for us ... it’s very good to have him back.”
Australia named its team on Tuesday, with Queensland Reds lock and former captain James Horwill set to play his 50th test match.
Coach Ewen McKenzie made three personnel changes to the starting XV from the opening test, with hooker Stephen Moore (knee), lock Sam Carter (ankle) and backrower Wycliff Palu (ankle) all ruled out with injuries.
Horwill was named on the bench for the first test.
France: Alexandre Menini, Guilhem Guirado, Rabah Slimani, Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri, Yannick Nyanga, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Damien Chouly, Morgan Parra, Remi Tales, Maxime Medard, Wesley Fofana, Mathieu Bastareaud, Yoann Huget, Brice Dulin. Reserves: Brice Mach, Thomas Domingo, Nicolas Mas, Bernard Le Roux, Louis Picamoles, Antoine Burban, Frederic Michalak, Remi Lamerat.