Battering ram Bastareaud recalled to face All Blacks, debut for Belleau

Mathieu Bastareaud will make his first France appearance for over two years and the uncapped Anthony Belleau will start at fly-half against New Zealand on Saturday.

Bastareaud has not played for his country since the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against the All Blacks in October 2015, but will start versus the same opponents at Stade de France this weekend.

Belleau is preferred to Francois Trinh-Duc in the absence of Camille Lopez for depleted Les Bleus and will form a young half-back pairing with Antoine Dupont, who gets the nod over Baptiste Serin.

Lock Paul Gabrillagues and back-row Judicael Cancoriet will also make their debuts against the world champions in Paris. 

Wing Teddy Thomas returns to the side, having been absent since February 2016.

 

France: Nans Ducuing, Teddy Thomas, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Mathieu Bastareaud, Yoann Huget, Anthony Belleau, Antoine Dupont; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Paul Gabrillagues, Judicael Cancoriet, Kevin Gourdon, Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: Clement Maynadier, Raphael Chaume, Daniel Kotze, Paul Jedrasiak, Anthony Jelonch, Baptiste Serin, Francois Trinh-Duc, Damian Penaud.

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