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France back to premium version but Namibia make changes

AP PHOTO

France coach Fabien Galthie has recalled his premium players for their third Pool A match against Namibia as Les Bleus look to pick up momentum after a see-saw start to their World Cup campaign.

France started in inspired fashion with a 27-13 victory against New Zealand but the reserve side was largely disappointing as they beat Uruguay 27-12 six days later.

A few tweaks were made from the XV who played against the All Blacks, with loosehead prop Cyril Baille returning from injury to boost the French pack.

Galthie insisted being able to adjust to circumstances was key to a successful tournament.

"We build our line-up on a weekly basis, there is no long-term plan in that area," Galthie told a press conference.

"We can talk about Darwin. His theory is that it is the strongest or the smartest who prevail, but also those who can adjust and adapt."

Left wing Louis Bielle-Biarrey is handed his second start in a row while Anthony Jelonch, who made his comeback from a long-term injury against Uruguay, is at No.8.

Francois Cros will start as blindside flanker while Jonathan Danty is back at centre after nursing a thigh injury.

New Zealand destroyed Namibia 71-3, scoring 11 tries and the southern African side have made nine changes for Thursday's match in Marseille.

One is enforced by the horrific ankle injury sustained by centre Le Roux Malan against New Zealand. Danco Burger replaces him.

The others come from coach Allister Coetzee wishing to give his wider squad a taste of the tournament in this "special occasion".

France-based Adriaan Ludick is among the changes while Jacques Theron gets his first start at halfback.

"It's important to give every player coming to a World Cup an opportunity to play," Coetzee said. "Our mindset is building towards the last game (against Uruguay) and to see what these players can offer to get the best team possible for that final match.

Of France, who top Pool A, he added: "They have selected a very strong side against us. Someone like Antoine Dupont, we see him playing on television a lot, for so Jacques Theron to get his first start for Namibia against him is a special occasion."

FRANCE: 15-Thomas Ramos, 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Gael Fickou, 12-Jonathan Danty, 11-Louis Bielle-Biarry, 10-Matthieu Jalibert, 9-Antoine Dupont (captain) 8-Anthony Jelonch, 7-Charles Ollivon, 6-Francois Cros, 5-Thibaud Flament, 4-Cameron Woki, 3-Uini Atonio, 2-Peato Mauvaka, 1-Cyril Baille.

Replacements: 16-Pierre Bourgarit, 17-Reda Wardi, 18-Dorian Aldegheri, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Paul Boudehent, 21-Baptiste Couilloud, 22-Yoram Moefana, 23-Melvyn Jaminet.

NAMIBIA: 15-Andre van den Berg, 14-Gerswin Mouton, 13-Johan Deysel (capt), 12-Danco Burger, 11-JC Greyling, 10-Cliven Loubser, 9-Jacques Theron, 8-Prince Gaoseb, 7-Johan Retief, 6-Max Katjijeko, 5-Adriaan Ludick, 4-Mahepisa Tjeriko, 3-Aranos Coetzee, 2-Louis van der Westhuizen, 1-Desiderius Sethie.

Replacements: 16-Obert Nortje, 17-Jason Benade, 18-Haitembu Shikufa, 19-Pieter-Jan van Lil, 20-Richard Hardwick, 21-Oela Blaauw, 22-Alcino Izaacs, 23-Divan Rossouw.