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Changes for France as better effort sought

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Sportal.co.nz     20 Jun 2013     Getty Images

Saint-Andreu said he wanted to introduce some fresh players into the side because France had not played three Tests on a tour against New Zealand since 1968.

"It's new for us and I think some guys deserve it because they played well against the Blues and some are fresh physically and mentally so we tried to keep some experience while also bringing players who can bring us some creativity and a lot or urgency and because Louis Picamoles and Freddie Michalak are injured we need to find some solutions," he said.

Another factor was that many players have had up to 40 games during the season which was a lot.

That was in comparison to the All Blacks who could bring back Dan Carter and Piri Weepu who had a lot of experience to add to that already in the side.

The French preparation for the final Test was based on trying to control areas that did not work well for them in the 30-0 second Test loss to New Zealand while also trying to maximise the positivity of the side.

"Each time we gave easy ball to the All Blacks they punished us so we will try to give them less ball and we will try to improve our kicking game, and our lineout.

"We had 27 lineouts last week which is a lot in international rugby but we lost seven throws," he said.

There was plenty to play for in the Test. There was pride, but there was also a chance to impress and show the selectors that they were worth a place in the November Tests later in the year and for the next two years and for the World Cup.

The inside-back pairing of halfback Jean Marc Doussain and first five-eighths Remi Tales would be under pressure as they have only three Test caps between them but Saint-Andre said it was their chance to prove they could be a combination for the next few years.

"When you play for the French team and you get an opportunity you must give 150 percent and that is what we expect of the guys this week," he said.

The team is: 1.Thomas Domingo, 2.Benjamin Kayser, 3.Nicolas Mas, 4.Alexandre Flanquart, 5.Yoann Maestri, 6.Thierry Dusautoir, 7.Damien Chouly, 8.Antonie Claassen, 9.Jean Marc Doussain, 10.Remi Tales, 11.Yoann Huget, 12.Wesley Fofana, 13.Florian Fritz, 14.Marc Andreu, 15.Brice Dulin.

Reserves: 16.Dimitri Szarzewski, 17.Eddy Ben Arous, 18.Luc Ducalcon, 19.Sebastian Vahaamahina, 20.Bernard Le Roux, 21.Maxime Machenaud, 22.Camille Lopez, 23.Mathieu Bastareaud.