Rugby World Cup 2019: France ring the changes for USA clash

France coach Jacques Brunel will make use of his full World Cup squad as they prepare for their Pool C showdown with England.

Brunel's men, who began the tournament with a 23-21 win over Argentina, take on the United States on Wednesday and Tonga on Sunday before meeting Eddie Jones' men on Saturday week for a clash that could determine the group winners.

Brunel makes 12 changes for Wednesday's game with the USA at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, with only Arthur Iturria, Gael Fickou and Yoann Huget keeping their places in the starting XV.

"You can't say we didn't take the opposition into account," Brunel said. "USA and Tonga have different characteristics.

"We're wary of this American side because of the physical qualities they're developing. The English did a good job of dominating them. We hope to do the same."

Jacques Brunel - French coach.
Jacques Brunel - French coach. Photo credit: Image - Getty
Rugby World Cup 2019: France ring the changes for USA clash

Veteran No.8 Louis Picamoles, seen by Brunel as the safe option in the absence of Guilhem Guirado, will captain France for the first time in his ninth World Cup match as he wins his 81st cap.

"It was the natural choice," Brunel said. "He is the most experienced player in a changed team. He'll play in a position he's familiar with, with a role he's familiar with. He was the safest choice.

"He's shown a lot of commitment and wisdom in the day-to-day life of the group, in our play, in our thinking. There's a side to him I didn't know. It's surprising but very positive."

The USA have flanker Hanco Germishuys stepping up from the bench to replace John Quill following his red card in the 45-7 defeat to England and subsequent suspension.

France: 1-Cyril Baille, 2-Camille Chat, 3-Emerick Setiano, 4-Bernard Le Roux, 5-Paul Gabrillagues, 6-Arthur Iturria, 7-Yacouba Camara, 8-Louis Picamoles (captain),            9-Maxime Machenaud, 10-Camille Lopez, 11-Yoann Huget, Gael Fickou, 13-Sofiane Guitoune, 14-Alivereti Raka, 15-Thomas Ramos

Reserves: 16-Guilhem Guirado, 17-Jefferson Poirot, 18-Rabah Slimani, 19-Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20-Gregory Alldritt, 21-Baptiste Serin, 22-Romain Ntamack, 23-Maxime Medard.

Reuters

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