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Laporte keeps faith in same XV
France name the same side which defeated New Zealand to face England.
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2007 11:27 GMT

Lionel Beauxis handed flyhalf duties again [GALLO/GETTY]

France coach Bernard Laporte has kept faith with the same players who stunned World Cup favourites New Zealand 20-18 for Saturday's Rugby World Cup semifinal against England.
 
Laporte, renowned for tinkering with winning lineups, made no changes when naming his starting lineup which set up a match against their arch rivals.
"We have two choices," Laporte said.
 
"Either keep the same group, knowing they performed well, or take two or three players out, which is difficult to explain."
 
Damien Traille will once again play fullback and flyhalf Lionel Beauxis keeps Frederic Michalak on the bench.

That is despite Michalak's impact against the All Blacks, where he set up a matchwinning try for center Yannick Jauzion with an inspired run down the left.

Thierry Dusautoir, scorer of France's other try against New Zealand, will flank with Serge Betsen, who has recovered from a mild concussion sustained last weekend.

Betsen has been included even though the rules state that a player who has been concussed should be automatically left out for three weeks.

No surprises

The combination of Traille and Beauxis is seen to offer France a more defensive look as both have good positional kicking.

"We will not surprise anyone in saying that, against the English, we need to have the means to get out of our 40 meters (yards) and occupy the ground well," Laporte said.

Hooker Raphael Ibanez once again captains the side against his Wasps counterpart Phil Vickery.

Laporte even kept the same seven reserves, with crowd favourite Sebastien Chabal joining Michalak on the bench.

France: Damien Traille, Vincent Clerc, David Marty, Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans, Lionel Beauxis, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde; Olivier Milloud, Raphael Ibanez (captain), Pieter de Villiers, Fabien Pelous, Jerome Thion, Serge Betsen, Thierry Dusautoir, Julien Bonnaire.

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Sebastien Chabal, Imanol Harinordoquy, Frederic Michalak, Christophe Dominici, Clement Poitrenaud.

Source:
Agencies
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