France name squad to face All Blacks in World Cup opener

As the Rugby World Cup opener against New Zealand looms, the France unveiled their starting XV for the match set fot Friday 10:15 PM EAT.

In the front row, Reda Wardi in the loose-head prop position with Julien Marchand, the hooker and tight-head prop Uini Atonio leading the pack.The second row has Thibaud Flament and François Cros

France back row

The back row has trio of Cameron Woki, Charles Ollivon and Gregory Alldritt.

The half-back pairing features Antoine Dupont, the scrum-half and Mathieu Jalibert, who steps into the fly-half role with the absence of Romain Ntamack.

In the centre positions, Yoram Moefana, and Gaël Fickou partner as the back three features Gabin Villiere, Damian Penaud, and Thomas Ramos at fullback.

The French team has been hit hard by injuries in the lead-up to the tournament.

Cyril Baille, a prop, and Jonathan Danty, a center, are also sidelined due to calf and hamstring injuries, respectively.

Controversy in France camp

Controversy has erupted in the French camp due to the call-up of Bastien Chalureau.

The decision to bring Chalureau into the squad has raised eyebrows, given his conviction in 2020 for a racially-motivated assault. The move has sparked debate about whether a player with such a history should represent France on the world stage

France have faced the All Blacks 72 times, with New Zealand emerging victorious on 48 occasions.

France, on the other hand, has managed to secure victory only 13 times, with 11 draws. The most recent meeting between the two teams ended in a French win during an end-of-year Test in 2021, breaking a 14-game losing streak.

The French squad will undoubtedly be looking to build on this momentum

France starting squad

1. Reda Wardi, 2. Julien Marchand 3.Uini Atonio, Cameron Woki, 5. Thibaud Flament,6. Francois Cross, 7. Charles Ollivon,8. Gregory Alldritt, 9. Antoine Dupont, 10. Mathieu Jalibert, 11.Gabin Villiere 12. Yoram Moefana, 13.Gael Fickou,14. Damian Penaud, 15. Thomas Ramos.

Replacements: Mauvaka, Gros, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Boudehent, Lucu, Vincent, Jaminet

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