RECAP: France v United States
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup pool match between France and the United States in Fukuoka City.
France will look to long-serving No.8 Louis Picamoles for inspiration as he captains his country for the first time against the United States in the tournament’s ‘group of death’.
Les Bleus squeaked home 23-21 against Argentina in their first match and are hoping to press their advantage in the ultra-competitive Pool C, which also includes England, who beat the United States 45-7.
Coach Jacques Brunel has rung the changes for the clash in Fukuoka, on the southwestern tip of Japan, with only three players surviving from the nail-biting win over the Pumas.
Prediction: France is expected to win this match comfortably, but the United States may keep it close in the early stages – perhaps the first half. The telling time will be the final quarter, when we expected France’s greater skill and fitness to see them race clear and win by 30 points.
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France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Alivereti Raka, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles (captain), 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Arthur Iturria, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Emerick Setiano, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Romain Ntamack, 23 Maxime Medard.
United States: 15 Mike Teo, 14 Blaine Scully (captain), 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Bryce Campbell, 11 Martin Iosefo, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Shaun Davies, 8 Cam Dolan, 7 Hanco Germishuys, 6 Tony Lamborn, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Nate Brakeley, 3 Titi Lamositele, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 1 Eric Fry.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Fawsitt, 17 Olive Kilifi, 18 Paul Mullen, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Ben Pinkelman, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Will Magie, 23 Thretton Palamo.
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)