France pick giant No 8 for Springbok Test

Louis Picamoles (Getty)
Louis Picamoles (Getty)

Cape Town - Montpellier No 8 Louis Picamoles, who weighs in around 115kg and stands 1.92m tall, has been named in France's starting line-up to take on South Africa in Paris on Saturday.

The match will be Picamoles' first start for Les Bleus since their 23-23 draw with Japan in Naterre last November.

France head coach Jacques Brunel has made 13 changes in total to his run-on side which suffered a 49-14 defeat to New Zealand in Dunedin, in their last Test in June.

Teddy Thomas (wing) and Yoann Maestri (lock) are the only survivors from that encounter which was the last of a three-Test series which the All Blacks won 3-0.

Picamoles is joined in the back-row by flanks Arthur Iturria and Wenceslas Lauret while Sebastien Vahaamahina packs down next to Maestri in the second-row. Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado will captain the side and Cedate Gomes Sa and Jefferson Poirot are the two props.

In the backline, Clermont flyhalf Camille Lopez is over his injury worries and will wear the No 10 jersey while Baptiste Serin will start at scrumhalf and Geoffrey Doumayrou and Mathieu Bastareaud form the centre paring.

Maxime Medard lines up at fullback while Thomas is joined out wide by Damian Penaud, who makes his first appearance for France on the wing after playing as a centre in his five previous Tests.

Kick-off is at 22:05 SA time.



15 Maxime Medard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot 

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Mathieu Babillot, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Gael Fickou

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe

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