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Newcomer Lakafia Included In France Team

Newcomer Lakafia Included In France Team

Biarritz Olympique back rower Raphaël Lakafia is the only Test newcomer named in the France team for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Ireland in Bordeaux.

France head coach Marc Lièvremont has picked a strong starting line-up and replacements bench for this weekend’s encounter at Stade Chaban Delmas.

The selected French side includes five players who started the Six Nations win over Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in February.

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They are Damien Traille, who played in the centre that day, François Trinh-Duc, Julien Pierre, captain Thierry Dusautoir and Imanol Harinordoquy.

Harinordoquy’s Biarritz Olympique club-mate Raphaël Lakafia will make his senior debut for France in the back row.

The 22-year-old made his Heineken Cup debut last season and wore the number 8 jersey in Biarritz’s 9-6 pool defeat to Ulster at Ravenhill last January.

A number of players who have been sidelined by injury will get a chance to impress the management.

Starting hooker Dimitri Szarzewski has not played since January due to an Achilles problem, while February was the last time centre Maxime Mermoz saw competitive action.

Traille, who has recovered from a heel injury, will start in the back-three along with Vincent Clerc who had surgery on his right knee a fortnight ago.

Clerc’s Toulouse colleague Romain Millo-Chluski slots into the second row for his first Test appearance since last November’s loss to Australia.

Trinh-Duc will be partnered at half-back by Dimitri Yachvili. The experienced Biarritz clubman will be making just his fifth start for France in three years.

The Ireland team to play France will be announced by head coach Declan Kidney on Thursday afternoon. There will be live coverage of the match on RTÉ Two, and we will have our usual live text commentary here on IrishRugby.ie.

FRANCE Team & Replacements (v Ireland, 2011 Rugby World Cup Warm-Up Test, Stade Chaban Delmas, Saturday, August 13, kick-off 8.45pm local time/7.45pm Irish time):

15 – Damien Traille (Biarritz Olympique)
14 – Vincent Clerc (Toulouse)
13 – David Marty (Perpignan)
12 – Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan)
11 – Alexis Palisson (Toulon)
10 – François Trinh-Duc (Montpellier)
9 – Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique)
1 – Sylvain Marconnet (Biarritz Olympique)
2 – Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Francais)
3 – Luc Ducalcon (Castres Olympique)
4 – Julien Pierre (Clermont Auvergne)
5 – Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse)
6 – Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse) (capt)
7 – Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz Olympique)
8 – Raphaël Lakafia (Biarritz Olympique)


16 – Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan)
17 – Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse)
18 – Lionel Nallet (Racing Metro 92)
19 – Julien Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne)
20 – Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne)
21 – David Skrela (Toulouse)
22 – Maxime Médard (Toulouse)