Beauxis backed to face All Blacks

France have retained Lionel Beauxis at fly-half for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand in Cardiff.

France have retained Lionel Beauxis at fly-half for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand in Cardiff.

Beauxis made his first start of the tournament in the 64-7 victory over Georgia and has been preferred over David Skrela and Frederic Michalak.

Skrela, who was first choice for the opener against Argentina, is omitted from the 22 despite recovering from an Achilles injury, with the flawed Michalak preferred on the bench.

In a surprising call Damien Traille – normally an inside centre with a siege-gun boot – is selected at full-back ahead of Clement Poitrenaud.

Yannick Jauzion and David Marty continue in midfield with Jean-Baptiste Elissalde asked to line-up alongside Beauxis at half-back.

Bulldozing Sale forward Sebastien Chabal has missed out on the ultra-competitive second-row positions and must settle for a place among the substitutes.

Instead former Les Bleus skipper Fabien Pelous, who appeared in the second half against Georgia after overcoming a knee injury, partners Jerome Thion at lock.

Toulouse’s Thierry Dusautoir is given the nod at openside and will link up with Serge Betsen and Julien Bonnaire in the back row while captain Raphael Ibanez returns at hooker after missing the Georgia win.

France: D Traille; V Clerc, D Marty, Y Jauzion, C Heymans; L Beauxis, J-B Elissalde; O Milloud, R Ibanez (capt), P de Villiers, F Pelous, J Thion, S Betsen, T Dusautoir, J Bonnaire.

Replacements: D Szarzewski, J-B Poux, S Chabal, I Harinordoquy, F Michalak, C Dominici, C Poitrenaud.

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