Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Michalak to start against Australia



Mercurial Toulon playmaker Frederic Michalak's stop-start international career received a further boost when he was named ahead of Francois Trinh-Duc at fly-half for France against Australia on Saturday.

Michalak's days in the No 10 shirt in Toulon since returning from a second stint with the Sharks in South Africa have been limited, the former Toulouse stalwart instead appearing more often at scrum-half.

The star-studded Toulon squad, coached by former France handler Bernard Laporte, features a backline controlled by England's Jonny Wilkinson, with Australian playmaker Matt Giteau also adept in the fly-half role.

Michalak's utility role is seen as invaluable by Laporte, but was not considered something that would necessarily enhance his chances at nailing down a berth at 10 in the France squad coached by Philippe Saint-Andre.

But that has not stopped Saint-Andre from plumping again for Michalak after he starred in France's summer tour to Argentina.

Accompanying Michalak at half-back will be Maxime Machenaud, who made his debut alongside the 30-year-old 56-time capped Toulonnais in the last match played by Les Bleus, a 59-10 rout of the Argentinians.

It means a spot on the bench for the influential Morgan Parra, the accomplished Clermont scrum-half and goal kicker undoubtedly assured of a valuable role in the second half.

"The selections follow the logic of the last test in Argentina when we were happy with Maxime and Frederic Michalak," Saint-Andre said.

"The choice was also made more simple by the fact that Morgan has only been able to train for three days."

Saint-Andre added that Michalak will take over kicking duties with centre Florian Fritz on call for any long-range pots at goal.

An international debut will be handed to 30-year-old Castres prop Yannick Forestier, preferred at loosehead to Clermont's Thomas Domingo.

Pascal Pape skippers the side from the second row, with Toulouse flanker Yannick Nyanga playing his first international since the ill-tempered third-place play-off of the 2007 World Cup (which France lost 34-10 to Argentina).

Nyanga, who takes over from the injured captain Thierry Dusautoir on the blindside, received not a single call up during the reign of Saint-Andre's predecessor Marc Lievremont.

He will start alongside Louis Picamoles and Fulgence Ouedraogo in the backrow.

There was no place in the match-day 23 for sensational teenage Toulouse centre Gael Fickou, with Fritz teaming up in midfield with Maxime Mermoz.

That means a move to the wing for Clermont's Wesley Fofana, Brice Dulin and veteran Vincent Clerc completing the back three.

France team: 15. Brice Dulin; 14. Wesley Fofana; 13. Florian Fritz; 12. Maxime Mermoz, 11. Vincent Clerc; 10. Frederik Michalak; 9. Maxime Machenaud;8. Louis Picamoles; 7. Fulgence Ouedraogo; 6. Yannick Nyanga; 5. Yoann Maestri, 4. Pascal Pape (capt); 3. Nicolas Mas; 2. Dimitri Szarzewski; 1. Yannick Forestier

Replacements: 16. Benjamin Kayser; 17. Thomas Domingo; 18. Vincent Debaty; 19. Jocelino Suta; 20. Damien Chouly; 21. Morgan Parra; 22. Francois Trinh-Duc; 23. Yoann Huget

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Fans, fun and Sevens success
The week leading up to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was a special one. The fans were passionate,...

Brendan Venter
Boks must think outside the box
Springbok supporters have every right to feel disenchanted after an underwhelming end-of-year tour.

Tony Johnson
Boks and Wallabies burnt in final outings
Playing the last test of the year in the last week of November has again proven to be a stumbling...

Gavin Rich
Boks learned quite a lot actually
When SuperSport returned from the Millennium Stadium to the studio discussion, it was mentioned...