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Published: 23:44 | 16/11/17

France players deserve "a second chance", says Noves


​France coach Guy Noves says he named an unchanged XV for Saturday's international against South Africa because his players deserved a "second chance".

Noves has selected the same XV that started last weekend's 38-18 defeat to world champions New Zealand for Saturday's international against the Springboks, which is live on eir Sport 2 [kick-off 8pm]

The only change is on the replacements' bench, where uncapped Bordeaux-Begles prop Sebastien Taofifenua replaces Clermont's Raphael Chaume, who was injured against the All Blacks last week.

"This team has a potential that we weren't able to see during their first Test," said Noves.

"We weren't going to throw to the dogs players some of whom were playing for the first time.

"I believe this team has the right to make amends in this second performance."

Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc keeps his place on the bench after playing an hour of the French XV's 28-23 defeat to a second-string All Blacks in Lyon on Tuesday.

"He played a good part of the match on Tuesday night. Essentially he's as battered as someone who's played a match five days earlier," Noves continued.

"But I decided that, after having played just five minutes in the first match and three-quarters of the second, he could hold his place for the third Test."

The Test match at the Stade de France takes place just four days after France was selected ahead of South Africa and Ireland to host the 2023 World Cup.

World Rugby delegates at the meeting in London voted by 24-15 for the French bid in the second round of voting, after Ireland had been eliminated in the first round with just eight votes.

France received 18 of the 39 votes in the first round of voting, including the vote of Africa's CAR federation, while South Africa received 13 votes.

Losing the vote came as a shock to South Africa, as World Rugby's technical review group had recommended at the end of October that they should host the tournament.

"Obviously losing the bid is not ideal for a country like South Africa‚" Springboks' head coach Allister Coetzee said.

"We would have loved to have that opportunity because it would have been massive for our country.

"We accept the result. We just want to focus on the Test. It won't motivate us differently, necessarily.

"We will have to play well to beat an improved French team. In a way both teams are desperate to get the result."

South Africa have won the last five meetings between the teams, including a 3-0 series victory on home soil in June.

eir Sport is the home of international rugby in November. On 18 November, eir Sport subscribers can watch Italy against Argentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence [kick off 2pm, eir Sport 2], followed by Scotland versus world champions New Zealand at Murrayfield [kick off 5.15pm, BT Sport 2], and then round off a super Saturday of Test match rugby with France v South Africa at the Stade de France [kick off 8pm, eir Sport 2]

Photo Getty Images/ Dan Mullan

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