Dupuy to make debut against the All Blacks
June 10, 2009
The Leicester scrum-half Julien Dupuy will make his international debut for France on Saturday in Dunedin against the All Blacks.
He's the only new cap in Marc Lievremont's side but at 25 years-old he has already gained experience in big matches this season for his club side. He played in both the Guinness Premiership final as well as in the narrow loss in the Heineken Cup final to Leinster. Dupuy will also be entrusted with goal-kicking duties but Lievremont is confident that he can hold his own at international level.
"He has been very good with the forwards in practice and we are sure he can make the decisions on the ground."
The French bench is yet to be clarified with nine players being named following the late arrivals of props Nicolas Mas and Thomas Domingo who featured in the Top 14 final between Perpignan and Clermont at the weekend.
Dupuy starts with Montpellier fly-half francois Trinh-Duc in a new pairing for the national team but the backline still contains a large amount of experience with Damien Traille starting in the centre and Cedric Heymans and Vincent Clerc on the wings.
France have won only three tests in 21 attempts on New Zealand soil since their first tour here in 1961. They won at Eden Park on Bastille Day, 1979, while the 1994 side were victorious in Christchurch and again at Auckland. France though have proved to be a bogey-side for New Zealand in recent World Cups though, famously knocking them out in both 1999 and 2007.
The All Blacks have named a side missing the likes of Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ali Williams and Rodney So'oialo but Lievremont maintains that despite their loss the home team remain formidable opposition.
"They are missing some players but we know the depth of New Zealand rugby. They should have no worries about the quality of their team."
France: Medard, Heymans, Bastareaud, Clerc, Traille, Trinh-Duc, Dupuy, Barcella, Servat, Marconnet, Millo-Chluski, Dusautoir (captain), Romain, Ouedraogo, Picamoles
Reserves: Szarzewski, Mas, Domingo, Chabal, Martin, Puricelli, Yachvili, Jauzion, Palisson (two to be omitted).
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action