New Zealand and France name teams for Paris clash

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen has recalled his big guns ahead of their clash with France this weekend in Paris. He has put his faith in experience, and named the most capped All Black team in history.

There are three test centurions – Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock – giving the starting line-up a total of 853 caps. A further 112 on the bench give 965 overall.

Just four players – McCaw, Dan Carter, Charles Piutau and Ben Smith – retain their places in the starting line-up from the team that hammered Japan last weekend. Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ma’a Nonu and Aaron Smith return to the backline, while Kieran Read, Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Mealamu and Woodcock all come back into the pack.

France coach Phillipe Saint-André, meanwhile, hands just a second cap to 24-year old Racing Métro flanker Wenceslas Lauret. Pascal Papé returns in the second row, while the preference is certainly on form over reputation, with Ben Kayser, Yannick Forestier and Damian Chouly all starting in the pack.

Morgan Parra is preferred to Jean-Marc Doussain at scrum-half, while Castres fly-half Rémi Tales is selected ahead of Perpignan’s Camille Lopez.

logoNew Zealand team:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Charles Piatau, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Ryan Crotty.

franceFrance team:
15 Bruce Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Nicolas Mas 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier
Replacements: 16 Dmitri Szarzewski, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 20 Antoine Claassen, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Gael Fickou

4 thoughts on “New Zealand and France name teams for Paris clash

  1. Interesting to see Ben Smith at 13

    To me, he is one of the top wings in the world at the moment, so I wonder what is behind this? Is Conrad injured? Are they short of decent 13’s?
    Is 13 Ben’s “real” position?

    So new names for me in the Blue team also. What has happened to Picamoles?

    1. Conrad’s been given a ‘sabbatical’ as McCaw and Carter have had, to keep him fresh for 2015, hence his namesake at 13. Not sure what his best position actually is, he played a lot at 15 for the Highlanders in Super Rugby as well.

      As for Picamoles – he’s injured, otherwise he’d certainly be starting I would have thought. The only 8 that even comes close to Read.

    2. Conrad has been rested for this tour.

      Ben Smith has played both. NZ tend to play their best players and fit them into the team. Ben Smith played 13 in the recent Aussie game and looked awesome there.

      There NZ players are so talented I’m pretty sure the backs can just move around and it wouldn’t make a difference.

  2. ‘named the most capped All Black team in history’

    And thats without Conrad’s million-odd caps. This will be a freakishly high capped team come 2015… Worrying

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