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Rugby World Cup: France look to Olympic idols in bid to win gold against Romania

By Nick Purewal

Published 23/09/2015

On track: Yannick Nyanga will
take inspiration from athletes
On track: Yannick Nyanga will take inspiration from athletes

France will channel the London 2012 exploits of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah when facing Romania in the Olympic Stadium tonight (8.00pm).

Flanker Yannick Nyanga admitted Les Bleus will "imagine ourselves in the place of the athletes" as they aim to send a message to group rivals Ireland and indeed their other main competitors for the World Cup crown in their second Pool D clash.

"It's a great experience," said Nyanga. "We have never played here before. We know the story with the Olympics in 2012. The team have been waiting for this."

Farah claimed 10,000m gold in the same hour that Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford also clinched Olympic glory in London's Stratford stadium on 'Super Saturday'. Bolt sprinted to 100m success a day later, while Farah secured the distance double by adding the 5,000m gold to his earlier triumph.

Racing Metro back-rower Nyanga admitted the France squad are well aware of the stadium's short but glittering past, and are immediately targeting capitalising on that legacy.

"It is good for us to discover the stadium, we imagine ourselves in the place of the athletes," said Nyanga. "Usain Bolt does great things every time he steps out. And we think of Mo Farah, who won on home turf."

Fit-again Wesley Fofana slots into the centres to partner Gael Fickou, with Brice Dulin in at full-back to replace Yoann Huget, out of the tournament with knee ligament trouble.

Belfast Telegraph

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