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Poirot to captain France as Brunel rings changes again

Poirot to captain France as Brunel rings changes again
Rugby Union - France Press Conference - National Rugby Center, Marcoussis, France - August 29, 2019 France's Jefferson Poirot during the press conference REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Files -
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By Ian Ransom

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Prop Jefferson Poirot will become France’s third captain at the World Cup in Japan when he leads a reshuffled Les Bleus side against Tonga in their Pool C clash in Kumamoto on Sunday.

Poirot succeeds number eight Louis Picamoles, who led France to a 33-9 win over the United States in Fukuoka on Wednesday and in turn stood in for benched hooker-captain Guilhem Guirado.

Coach Jacques Brunel made 11 changes to the starting side that beat the United States, bringing back 20-year-old Romain Ntamack in the number 10 jersey and promoting Baptiste Serin after his strong performance off the bench against the Eagles.

Ntamack and Serin will be the third halfback partnership Brunel has used in Japan.

Only inside centre Sofiane Guitoune, hooker Camille Chat, lock Paul Gabrillagues and winger Alivereti Raka have been retained from the 15 that initially laboured against the United States before finishing strongly.

Brunel declined to name the replacements. They are expected to be unveiled on Friday.

France, who edged Argentina in their World Cup opener, remain unbeaten at the tournament and are second in Pool C behind England.

France starting 15:

15-Maxime Medard, 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Virimi Vakatawa, 12- Sofiane Guitoune, 11-Alivereti Raka, 10-Romain Ntamack, 9- Baptiste Serin, 9-Gregory Alldritt, 7-Charles Ollivon, 6- Wenceslas Lauret, 5-Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4-Paul Gabrillagues, 3-Rabah Slimani, 2-Camille Chat, 1-Jefferson Poirot

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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