France name inexperienced team to face ABs

GREGORY BLACHIER
Last updated 09:24 06/06/2013
Camille Lopez
Photosport
DEBUT: Camille Lopez has had a rapid rise to the top of French rugby.

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Uncapped first-five Camille Lopez will partner young halfback Maxime Machenaud when France for the first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

Winger Adrien Plante, 28, is also set to make his debut for France, who have mainly relied on the squad that finished bottom of this year's Six Nations with Thierry Dusautoir to captain the team in place of injured lock Pascal Pape.

Experienced first-five Frederic Michalak has been dropped to the bench and Lopez will form a 24-year-old halfback combination with Machenaud who earned his first international cap last year and now has eight.

South Africa-born prop Daniel Kotze and lock Alexandre Franquart have also been named in the 23-man squad and should earn their first France caps.

FRANCE: Yoann Huget, Adrien Plante, Florian Fritz, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Medard, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud; Louis Picamoles, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Thierry Dusautoir, Yoann Maestri, Sebastien Vahaamahi, Luc Ducalcon, Dimitri Szarzewski, Thomas Domingo. Reserves: Guilhem Guirado, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Alexandre Flanquart, Yannick Nyanga, Jean-Marc Doussain, Frederic Michalak, Maxime Mermoz.

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- Reuters

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