France name side to face Namibia

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France head coach Fabien Galthié has named his match-day 23 to face Namibia in Pool A at the Stade de Marseille on Thursday, 21 September.

Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).

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Galthié made 12 changes to his starting XV from the side that defeated Uruguay in their last match, with only Cameron Woki, Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Anthony Jelonch retaining their spots in the run-on team. 

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Ten players who started against the All Blacks in the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2023 return to the starting XV, including five in the backline.

Jonathan Danty returns to the starting XV for the first time since scoring a try against the Wallabies on 27 August. He will make his World Cup debut in his 24th career Test. 

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Damian Penaud is currently enjoying a five-game try-scoring streak, the longest of his career. He is France’s leading try scorer this season with nine, and is looking to become the first Frenchman to score 10 tries in a calendar year since Phillipe Saint-André scored 12 in 1995.

In his 19th Test as captain, Antoine Dupont is yet to lose a match on home soil when leading the team, winning all 13 games. His only career loss as captain came against Ireland earlier this year in Dublin. 

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Thomas Ramos is averaging 17 points per game in 2023, and has not missed more than two kicks at goal in a single test this season.

TEAMS

France

15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 François Cros, 5 Thibaud Flament, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille

Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Paul Boudehent, 21 Baptiste Couilloud, 22 Yoram Moefana, 23 Melvyn Jaminet

Namibia

TBA

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