Spedding justifies France selection

Former SA U21 fullback Scott Spedding impressed on his Test debut as France defeated Fiji 40-15 in Marseille on Saturday.

Handed a chance following the injury to Brice Dulin, Spedding made the most of his opportunity with an eye-catching performance. He ran 199m with ball in hand and was at the heart of the two tries that turned the game France's way.

Wing Teddy Thomas had his first try inside 60 seconds, and added two more after the break, as the French recorded a morale-boosting win for beleaguered coach Philippe Saint-André.

Fellow debutant Alexandre Dumoulin also impressed at outside centre, while former Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott made his first appearance for Les Bleus after coming off the bench for the final 13 minutes.

Fiji competed well during the first half, at the scrums and lineouts, but fell away badly in the final 30 minutes as the French showed their greater strength-in-depth.

It was a dominant performance from France, but they'll face tougher opposition with a clash against the Wallabies next weekend.

France – Tries: Teddy Thomas (3), Pascal Papé, Wesley Fofana. Conversions: Camille Lopez (2), Rory Kockott. Penalties: Lopez (3).
Fiji – Tries: Watisoni Votu, Timoci Nagusa. Conversion: Nemani Nadolo. Penalty: Nadolo.

France – 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Alexandre Dumoulin, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini
Subs: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Xavier Chiocci, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Charles Ollivon, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Fiji – 15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Watisoni Votu, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Alipate Ratini, 10 Jonetani Ralulu, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera (c), 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma'afu
Subs: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Isei Colati, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Malakai Ravulo, 21 Henry Seniloli, 22 Nemani Nadolo, 23 Timoci Nagusa.

Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images