France bring back big guns

France coach Philippe Saint-André has named his strongest available starting lineup for Thursday's Pool D clash against Canada in Buckinghamshire.

Brice Dulin, Wesley Fofana and Bernard le Roux are the only players who retain their places, as Saint-André made 12 changes to his side.

In the backline, Scott Spedding returns at fullback, with Dulin shifting to left wing at the expense of Noa Nakaitaci. On the right wing, Remy Grosso takes over from Sofiane Guitoune, who is left out of the match 23 despite scoring a brace against Romania.

Mathieu Bastareaud is preferred over Gael Fickoü, and will parter Fofana in midfield; while Frédéric Michalak and Sebastien Tillous-Borde return as the halfback pairing.

In a positional switch, Le Roux who played lock against Romania, moves to openside flank with captain Thierry Dusautoir coming in on the blindside and Damien Chouly at No 8.

In the tight five, Yoann Maestri and Pascal Pape are the new locks, while props Rabah Slimani and Eddy Ren Arous will scrum down either side of hooker Guilhem Guirado.

France – 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Remy Grosso, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Brice Dulin, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Subs: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Alexandre Dumoulin.

World Cup teams

Photo: Franck Fife/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt