19 Oct 2011

France name unchanged side for World Cup final

2:17 pm on 19 October 2011

The 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 scraped past 14-man Wales 9-8 in last weekend's semi-final.

The bench will be named later in the week.

Eleven of the starting team played in the 37-17 pool loss to the All Blacks last month, while only wing Vincent Clerc and centre Aurelien Rougerie will have started each of France's seven games in their World Cup campaign.

Lievremont retained goal-kicking converted halfback Morgan Parra at first five leaving specialist Francois Trinh-Duc on the sidelines yet again.

Dimitri Yachvili partners Parra in the halves in a France team making their third appearance in a World Cup final after losing the 1987 and 1999 tournament deciders to New Zealand and Australia respectively.

Flanker Thierry Dusautoir captains the side.

Today's announcement was the first time in 44 matches since taking over for the 2008 Six Nations that Lievremont 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.