19 Oct 2011

French side unchanged for final

5:49 pm on 19 October 2011

France coach Marc Lievremont has named an unchanged starting team to play New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final in Auckland on Sunday night.

For the second successive week, Lievremont broke his reputation of constantly tinkering with player combinations by naming the same XV that beat Wales 9-8 in last weekend's semi-final at Eden Park.

The reserves bench will be named later in the week.

Eleven of the starting team played in the 37-17 pool loss to the All Blacks in September.

Only wing Vincent Clerc and centre Aurelien Rougerie have started each of France's seven games in their World Cup campaign.

Halfback Morgan Parra is retained at first five-eighth, leaving Francois Trinh-Duc on the sidelines again.

Dimitri Yachvili partners Parra in the halves. Flanker Thierry Dusautoir will captain the side.

The announcement was the first time in 44 matches that Lievremont has named an unchanged team two games in a row.

The All Blacks, who beat Australia 20-6 in their semi-final, are due to name their side on Friday.

France is making its third appearance in a World Cup final.


Starting XV: Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson, Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvili, Imanol Harinordoquy, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Lionel Nallet, Pascal Pape, Nicolas Mas, William Servat, Jean-Baptiste Poux.