Toulouse players pack French squad to face Boks

MARCOUSSIS, France - Seven Toulouse players will form the backbone of the France XV to take on world champions South Africa in Toulouse on Friday night.

MARCOUSSIS, France - Seven Toulouse players will form the backbone of the France XV to take on world champions South Africa in Toulouse on Friday night.

They include 21-year-old Yann David, who wins his second cap at centre inside wingers and teammates Vincent Clerc and Cedric Heymans.

Perpignan's Maxime Mermoz takes up the other centre slot with Damien Traille of Biarritz remaining at fullback.

Julien Dupuy of Stade Francais gets the nod at scrumhalf after his strong displays during the summer tour of Australia and New Zealand and he is joined at flyhalf by Francois Trinh-Duc of Montpellier.

Coach Marc Lievremont said that it had been a straight choice at centre between David, whose only cap to date came against Italy in March last year, and David Marty of Perpignan.

"We made a choice between the understanding of Maxime Mermoz and David Marty, and the explosiveness and strength of Yann David.

"We chose to go with those qualities. We wanted robustness in the midfield - that's important against South Africa."

In the pack, another Toulouse player, Thierry Dusautoir, takes over the captaincy from Lionel Nallet, who nevertheless returns from injury at lock.

Dusautoir features in a strong back row with Imanol Harinordoquy and No8 Louis Picamoles of Toulouse.

In the front row, William Servat of Toulouse is preferred as hooker.

The France XV named yesterday to play South Africa in Toulouse on Friday: Damien Traille (Biarritz), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Yann David (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), Cedric Heymans (Toulouse), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Julien Dupuy (Stade Francais), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Lionel Nallet (Racing-Metro), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), William Servat (Toulouse), Fabien Barcella (Biarritz). Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewzski (Stade Français), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Francais), Sebastien Chabal (Racing-Metro), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Morgan Parra (Clermont), David Marty (Perpignan), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Thomas Domingo (Clermont). - Sapa-AFP

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