France announces team to play Australia in first test

franceFrance coach Philippe Saint-André has named Freddie Michalak at fly-half for their first test against Australia this weekend, despite the mercurial half-back not being able to make his club squad towards the end of the season.

There is no recognised fly-half replacement on the bench, either, with Morgan Parra likely to be forced into action in the outside half role if needs be. It is a huge ask of Michalak, who is not exactly renowned for his consistency.

Elsewhere, the squad shows eight changes to the side that lost the final game of the Six Nations to Ireland in Paris. Bordeaux winger Felix le Bourhis wins his first cap, while Gael Fickou partners Wesley Fofana in a dangerous centre partnership. Castres powerhouse Remi Lamerat provides cover from the bench.

Up front, Thierry Dusautoir misses out despite being named tour captain, so Nicolas Mas captains the team from the front row, where he is joined by Thomas Domingo and Guilhem Guirado.

None of those involved in the French Top 14 final last weekend were eligible for selection.

France team to play Australia:
15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Gaël Fickou , 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Felix le Bourhis, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 3 Nicolas Mas (c), 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Remi Lamerat, 23 Brice Dulin.

Date: Saturday, June 7
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 20:00 local (10:00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert

7 thoughts on “France announces team to play Australia in first test

  1. He FINALLY chose for Fofana and Fickou together.

    In other news, why does SPA hold this grudge against Trinh-Duc? He is one of the form fly-halfs and has that “flair” the french team needs, yet he goes for Michalak who has been nothing short of a failure when played at fly-half.

    Is the Stade Francais fly-half injured? At least have him warning the bench in case Michalak implodes again.

    And Dusautoir missing out?

    I’m no big fan of France, but PSA seems to have lost the plot even more than their previous coach.

    Eh, bet they’ll end up in the world cup final again somehow.

  2. Am I right in saying that the Toulon and Castres players involved in the final are unavailable for this game? Explaining the absence of Remi Tales and Basteraud?

    I do struggle with this. Why has Dusautoir not been selected? Great player.

    What has Trinh-Duc done to PSA? Really is baffling. Also – where is Jules Plisson? Is he injured?

    On the plus side for the French, he has finally paired Fofana with Fickou, even if it is due to the absense of Basteraud.

  3. Re both comments above – Trinh-Duc’s continued absence is one of the biggest mysteries in the game right now.

    Neither he nor Plisson was named in the initial touring squad (http://www.therugbyblog.com/france-squad-named-for-june-tour-to-australia) meaning the only options at 10 are Tales and Michalak. Tales can’t be involved due to Top 14 final – but what if Michalak had been picked for Toulon in that game too? Would he have swallowed his stubbornness and flown Plisson/Trinh-Duc out, or would he have started Parra at 10? Logic says the first option, which almost certainly means he would have done the second.

    You’ve got to love PSA.

    1. I was not overly fussed with Plisson if I am honest. Whatever happened to Lopez? I think he played last summer in New Zealand and looked pretty decent to me.

      Buttin at Full back? Is he also out of favour?

      1. Who knows, I doubt PSA even knows what he’s doing.

        Looks like throwing darts at the squad paper.

    2. PSA has “form” with Fly-Halfs doesn’t he?

      He is the coach who didn’t want Jonny Wilkinson when he was coach at Toulon isn’t he?
      (not that it made any difference as Boudjellal bought him anyway)

      If memory serves (and it equally may not) but didn’t he play Wigglesworth at 10 for Sale, ahead of Charlie Hodgson for a while?

      1. I believe you are right about Wiggy at 10. I’m pretty sure it was PSA who made that decision. Not sure about Johnny.

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