Betsen named France skipper for Cardiff clash

Serge Betsen will captain France in their World Cup warm-up match against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday.

Serge Betsen will captain France in their World Cup warm-up match against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday.

The Biarritz flanker has been given the armband with regular skipper Raphael Ibanez and vice-captain Fabien Pelous both left out of Les Bleus’ 22-man squad for this weekend.

Having missed out on both the wins against world champions England over the past two weekends, fly-half Lionel Beauxis is finally called into the squad and should start against the Welsh ahead of Stade Francais colleague David Skrela.

Pieter De Villiers, who has also not played a minute in the warm-up matches so far, is included.

He should pack down in the front row with Nicolas Mas, who is now a permanent member of France's World Cup squad following the withdrawal of injured prop Sylvain Marconnet yesterday.

Sebastien Chabal, of English side Sale Sharks, is back from injury and is expected to start in the second row alongside Lionel Nallet.

With Clement Poitrenaud rested, Cedric Heymans is poised to begin the match in the unfamiliar position of full-back.

The game against the Welsh will be France’s last before they head into the World Cup.

They open the showpiece with a clash against Argentina on September 7.

France have beaten England 21-15 at Twickenham and 22-9 in Marseille over the past two weekends.

The France squad for Sunday’s World Cup warm-up match against Wales in Cardiff is:

Backs: J-B Elissalde (Toulouse), P Mignoni (Clermont-Auvergne), L Beauxis, D Skrela (both Stade Francais), Y Jauzion (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), V Clerc (Toulouse), C Dominici (Stade Francais), C Heymans (Toulouse), A Rougerie (Clermont-Auvergne).

Forwards: S Bruno (Sale), D Szarzewski, P De Villiers (Stade Francais), N Mas (Perpignan), J-B Poux (Toulouse), S Chabal (Sale), L Nallet (Castres), J Thion (Biarritz), S Betsen (Biarritz, capt), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz), R Martin (Stade Francais).

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