“Yes,” he insisted, “we can beat anybody,” as he celebrated his selection in Marc Lievrement’s 30 man squad and another victory over Ireland in Dublin.
Explaining the circumstances of the Aviva game, Yachvili suggested: “The Irish started very well and they were hungry (for victory) because they lost last week, so the first 15 minutes were very hard for us. But we didn’t concede too many points, we kept the pressure on and we are very proud and happy to win this game. We worked hard, we had a great team spirit and in the end we won. That is a great boost for us in New Zealand to beat a very good team like Ireland on their ground.”
There is no place in the squad for Sylvain Marconnet, the 35-year-old who has won 84 caps for Les Bleus, or his fellow prop Thomas Domingo. Fabien Barcella, who spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an Achilles injury last year but featured in Saturday’s 26-22 win over Ireland in Dublin, has made the cut.
France, beaten finalists in 1987 and 1999, have been drawn in Group A in New Zealand alongside the hosts, Tonga, Canada and Japan. France’s opening match is against Japan in Auckland on September 10.
FRANCE squad: Forwards: F Barcella (Biarritz), J Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), L Ducalcon (Castres), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), G Guirado (Perpignan) I Harinordoquy (Biarritz), R Lakafia (Biarritz), N Mas (Perpignan), R Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), L Nallet (Racing Metro), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), P Pape (Stade Francais), L Picamoles (Toulouse), J Pierre (Clermont Auvergne), J-B Poux (Toulouse), W Servat (Toulouse), D Szarzewski (Stade Francais).
Backs: V Clerc (Toulouse), F Estebanez (Brive), C Heymans (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), M Medard (Toulouse), M Mermoz (Perpignan), A Palisson (Brive), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne), A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), D Skrela (Toulouse), D Traille (Biarritz), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), D Yachvili (Biarritz).