Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

France experiment for All Blacks

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre is braced for a tough assignment against New Zealand on Saturday.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has named an untried halves pairing for Saturday's clash with New Zealand at Stade de France.

Saint-Andre has chosen Morgan Parra at scrum-half alongside twice-capped fly-half Remi Tales, the ninth different combination the coach has fielded since the 2012 Six Nations.

Parra got the nod ahead of Jean-Marc Doussain, and Saint-Andre said: "It was Morgan's experience and his kicking ability which made the difference."

Elsewhere, lock Pascal Pape will make his first appearance for Les Bleus since suffering an injury on Six Nations duty at the start of the year.

France suffered three defeats to New Zealand on their summer tour earlier this year and Saint-Andre admits this weekend's task against the world champions is a daunting one.

"It is said that the All Blacks are very difficult to play, the trick is not to accept that logic," he said.

"What is important is that our players believe in themselves, they play with passion and intelligence. They must give everything to our fans at the Stade de France.

"It is a matter of mindset. I feel a great desire but also fear. But this fear must be positive and not hinder the players."

France team: Dulin; Huget, Fritz, Fofana, Medard; Tales, Parra; Chouly, Lauret, Dusautoir (capt); Maestri, Pape; Mas, Kayser, Forestier.

Replacements: Szarzewski, Debaty, Slimani, Vahaamahina, Claassen, Doussain, Lopez, Fickou.

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