Jacques Brunel has rung the changes ahead of France’s second Test with New Zealand, the coach making five alterations to the side who were thrashed in Auckland.
France were overwhelmed in the opening match of their three-Test series against the All Blacks, losing 52-11 at Eden Park.
Back-row duo Judicael Cancoriet and Fabien Sanconnie make way for Mathieu Babillot and Kelian Galletier, while Bernard Le Roux starts ahead of Paul Gabrillagues at lock.
In the backs, the injured Remy Grosso makes way for Gael Fickou, and Benjamin Fall takes Maxime Medard’s position at full-back for the clash in Wellington.
Brunel has opted to keep faith with half-back pairing Morgan Parra and Anthony Belleau, while Mathieu Bastareaud will again lead the European side in the absence of Guilhem Guirado.
— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) June 13, 2018
In contrast, New Zealand are unchanged for the second match, with Steve Hansen naming the same 23-man squad.
“As we have a big focus right now on developing our game and working on our skillsets, connections and combinations, it isn’t beneficial to be making wholesale changes, if any at all, to the playing 23,” said Hansen.
“Whilst we were really happy with the way we finished last weekend’s Test, we’re fully aware that we still have a lot of work to do over the rest of the series.
“The French would’ve taken a lot of confidence out of their first 50 minutes on the weekend and will be coming to play on Saturday night. Therefore, it will require us to raise our game to an even higher level.
“Rather than being inhibited by this, we’ll be embracing and walking towards the challenge. We’ll be looking to play our own high-energy game with real intent.
“When it comes to our performance, we know there are high expectations from our fans. This, in turn, demands that we drive our own expectations even higher.”
France: Benjamin Fall, Teddy Thomas, Mathieu Bastareaud, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Gael Fickou, Anthony Belleau, Morgan Parra; Dany Priso, Camille Chat, Uini Atonio, Bernard Le Roux, Yoann Maestri, Mathieu Babillot, Kelian Galletier, Kevin Gourdon.
Replacements: Pierre Bourgarit, Cyril Baille, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Alexandre Lapandry, Baptiste Serin, Jules Plisson, Maxime Medard.
New Zealand: Jordie Barrett, Ben Smith, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Luke Whitelock.
Replacements: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Vaea Fifita, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Ngani Laumape.
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta