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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

French In Power Revamp

PARIS -- France hope powerful lock Olivier Merle, back in a revamped team for the second test against rugby union world champions South Africa in Paris on Saturday, will help them restore some pride.


"Olivier has always been a first choice player this season and we missed him a lot last Saturday," said French coach Jean-Claude Skrela, referring to the first test won 22-12 by the Springboks in Bordeaux.


Merle, fit again after a rib injury, is a tough customer in lineouts, scrums and mauls and is the sort of player France need to challenge the Springbok forwards.


Skrela, who has had to cope with a string of injuries, Wednesday unveiled a team with six new names including Bourgoin winger Laurent Leflamand, who will earn his first cap, and two changes of position.


The other players to come in are winger David Venditti, flyhalf Christophe Lamaison, scrumhalf Guy Accoceberry and hooker Marc Dal Maso.