Spedding one of 3 France newcomers to face Fiji
PARIS (AP) — South African-born Scott Spedding will start at fullback as one of three new caps in the France side to face Fiji in Saturday’s test match.
All the newcomers are in the backs, with Racing Metro’s Teddy Thomas on the left wing and teammate Alexandre Dumoulin picked at center by coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Spedding was called up to replace injured fullback Brice Dulin, who has been ruled out of all of France’s matches this month against Fiji, Argentina and Australia.
Spedding, who obtained French citizenship this year, moved to France in 2008, leaving Natal Sharks to join Brive and then moving to Bayonne two years ago. He represented South Africa at under-21 level.
Flyhalf Camille Lopez has kicking duties in Marseille.
Dumoulin will have powerful center Wesley Fofana alongside him in midfield. Lopez is paired with scrumhalf Sebastien Tillous-Borde, who was Jonny Wilkinson’s halves partner for several years at Toulon.
Castres scrumhalf Rory Kockott, also raised in South Africa, has qualified on residency and could make his debut after being named in a larger group of 10 reserves — including experienced centers Mathieu Bastareaud and Maxime Mermoz — which will be narrowed down on the morning of the game.
France: Scott Spedding, Yoann Huget, Alexandre Dumoulin, Wesley Fofana, Teddy Thomas, Camille Lopez, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Damien Chouly, Bernard Le Roux, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape, Nicolas Mas, Guilhem Guirado, Alexandre Menini. Reserves: Benjamin Kayser, Uini Antonio, Xavier Chiocci, Alexandre Flanquart, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Charles Ollivon, Rory Kockott, Remi Tales, Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz (2 to be omitted).