France change 11 for Tonga clash at RWC

Emiliano Bofelli and Romain Ntamack (Gallo Images)
Emiliano Bofelli and Romain Ntamack (Gallo Images)

Tokyo - France unveiled their third halfback pairing in three games on Thursday as they changed 11 players for their Rugby World Cup Pool C meeting with Tonga.

Baptiste Serin will link up with flyhalf Romain Ntamack with Camille Chat, Paul Gabrillagues, Sofiane Gitoune and Alivereti Raka the only remaining starters from the 33-9 win over USA.

France, second in Pool C, will expect to take a big step towards the quarter-finals when they play Tonga in Kumamoto on Sunday, following their wins over Argentina and USA.

Maxime Medard, the sole survivor from France's embarrassing 19-14 loss to Tonga at the 2011 World Cup, is again named at fullback as he gets his chance for revenge.

Serin and Ntamack are France's 16th half-back combination in 43 games since the last World Cup in 2015. However, Jefferson Poirot and Rabah Slimani will start together for the 19th time.

Teams:

France

15 Maxime Medard, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Sofiane Guitoune, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Paul Gabrillagues, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Jefferson Poirot (captain)

Tonga

TBA

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