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- World Cup
- Pool A
- 24th Sep 2011
- KO 09:30
- Ground: Eden Park, Auckland
- Att: 50,000
New Zealand v France: Teams
At Eden Park, Saturday September 24, kick-off 9.30am
France coach Marc Lievremont has defended his selections for the mouth-watering encounter with New Zealand at Eden Park.
France have twice recorded World Cup wins over the All Blacks, with Les Bleus knocking them out of the 1999 and 2007 tournaments.
However they have been accused of wanting to lose their pool encounter to avoid potentially facing Australia and South Africa in the knockout stages.
Lievrement has been criticised for naming regular No.9 Morgan Parra at fly-half, while Dimitri Yachvili, Maxime Medard, Dimitri Szarzewski, Lionel Nallet and skipper Thierry Dusautoir all come into the side after missing the win over Canada.
Lievremont has dismissed jibes, though, claiming he no longer paid any attention to what was being said.
"I am starting to be immune to it all to be honest," he said.
"If I was to get upset each time I read a story in the French press or in the New Zealand press... it's just not the case.
"But as some have cried scandal, I would like to reassure New Zealand fans who are planning to be at the match that in my team selection and in the minds of my players there has never been the idea of not trying to win this match."
There have been no such distractions over the New Zealand selections, with Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Israel Dagg all passed fit to play.
The biggest debate has come over the midfield and half-back combinations - with Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu preferred in the centres ahead of the benches Sonny Bill Williams, while Piri Weepu is named in the No.9 jersey.
Victor Vito, Colin Slade and Mils Muliaina all make way for McCaw, Carter and Dagg - with Adam Thomson switching to No.8.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Richard Kahui, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 1 Tony Woodcock, 2 Keven Mealamu, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Brad Thorn, 5 Sam Whitelock, 6 Jerome Kaino, 7 Richie McCaw (capt), 8 Adam Thomson.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Anthony Boric, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.
France: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Morgan Parra, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Pascale Papé, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 William Servat, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Imanol Harinordoquy, 20 Francois Trinh-Duc, 21 Fabrice Estebanez, 22 Cédric Heymans.
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