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France go for series win


A very different looking French team will start the second test against the USA this afternoon, writes John Birch.

Only four of the team that started the first test are in the starting fifteen at the Stade de France, where the womens game which will preceed the mens international against Samoa will also be shown live on television in France, and the USA.

The team selected is close to being the most experienced available, with over 267 caps between them over 100 more than on Wednesday.

Despite their inexperience, Wednesdays experimental French team backed by a near capacity crowd at the Stade Marcel Garcin in Orleans won a largely attritional battle, thanks to the USA being cited for fifteen penalties, as opposed to the USAs two. Jessy Tremouliere took full advantage, following up her try and penalties at Esher against England with two more penalties and a conversion the extra points coming from a penalty try as France ran out winners by 13-0.

Tremouliere will start the second test on bench allowing Audrey Parra a rare chance to start a game at full-back. Three other first-choice selections Gaelle Mignot, Maon Andre and Sandra Rabier - are also rested for the opening stages of the game, but otherwise the team would appear to be close to the one that might start in next years Six Nations.

Laetita Salles wins her 73rd cap at hooker, while Yahe returns as captain and scrum-half, with Bailon at fly. Safi Ndiaye also returns, after her impressive performance at Esher, looking to cement her position at No 8 in the continued absence of Aida Ba. Three of the nine newcomers at Esher also survive wings Grassineau and Guiglion, and centre Metier.

For the USA Pete Steinberg is expecting his squad to raise their game for the last game of the year and finish the tour with our best performance.

Jamie Burke will be playing her 35 test for the USA a small number in European terms but, as Steinberg has pointed out, the USA get nothing like as many opportunities to play test rugby. She will be joined by Kittery Wagner and Sarah Chobot in the front row. World Cup veterans Stacey Bridges and Sharon Blaney partner as locks with Shaina Turley, Lynelle Kugler and Kate Daley returning to the backrow.

Sadie Anderson, who will resume the vice-captain duties, starts at fly-half with Carrie White at scrum-half. Despite receiving a cut under her eye in the last match, Amelia Bizer will get the nod for the second-straight game. The U20 will work with World Cup veteran Amy Daniels who gets her first start at inside center on this tour. Kimber Rozier starts her third-consecutive match at fullback with San Junita Moreno and Ashley Kmiecik on the wings.

France v USA, 24th November:

France: (1-15) Hlne Ezanno, Latitia Salles , Christelle Chobet , Marine De Nada , Assa Kota , Coumba Diallo , Latitia Grand , Safi Ndiaye , Marie-Alice Yahe (C), Aurlie Bailon , Camille Grassineau , Sandra Metier , Lucille Godiveau , Elodie Guiglion , Audrey Parra

Replacements: Galle Mignot , Aurlie Vernhet, Elodie Portaries , Sandra Rabier , Manon Andre , Cline Heguy , Jessy Tremouliere , Laurene Camoin

USA: (1-15) Sarah Chobot, Kittery Wagner, Jamie Burke (C), Stacey Bridges, Sharon Blaney, Shaina Turley, Lynelle Kugler, Kate Daley, Carrie White, Sadie Anderson, Ashley Kmiecik, Amy Daniels, Amelia Bizer, San Juanita Moreno, Kimber Rozier

Replacements: Katy Augustyn, Sarah Wilson, Naima Reddick, Rosie Miesner, Mel Denham, Jennifer Lui, Hannah Stolba, Valerie Griffeth,