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France make two changes

France head coach Marc Lievremont has made just two changes for Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final with England in Auckland.

Les Bleus were beaten 19-14 by Tonga in Wellington last Saturday but Lievremont has resisted wholesale changes for a match against their perennial rivals as France seek to put their Pool A defeats behind them in the knockout phase.

Nicolas Mas is set to return from injury in place of Luc Ducalcon at tighthead prop, with number eight Imanol Harinordoquy promoted off the bench in place of Raphael Lakafia.

Ducalcon and Lakafia drop out of the matchday 22, while Fabrice Estebanez is banned from the match for making a dangerous tackle after coming off the bench against Tonga.

England eliminated France from the 2007 World Cup at the semi-final stage and beat France 17-9 in the RBS 6 Nations in February.

Eight players from Les Bleus' team at Twickenham will take to the Eden Park field on Saturday - Mas, William Servat, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir, Harinordoquy, Dimitri Yachvili, Vincent Clerc and Aurelien Rougerie.

Team: M Medard, V Clerc, A Rougerie, M Mermoz, A Palisson, M Parra, D Yachvili; JB Poux, W Servat, N Mas, P Pape, L Nallet, T Dusautoir (capt), J Bonnaire, I Harinordoquy.

Replacements: D Szarzewski, F Barcella, J Pierre, L Picamoles, F Trinh-Duc, D Marty, C Heymans.


From Belfast Telegraph