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What are the teams for France v Japan?

What are the teams for France v Japan?

Charles Ollivon France

France will look to complete an unbeaten 2022 against Japan in Toulouse on Sunday with a new captain in Charles Ollivon.

The back-rower was Fabien Galthié’s first captain when he took over in 2020, and led the team in two meetings with the Brave Blossoms in the summer.

And in the absence of the suspended Antoine Dupont, he will take back the captaincy for France, who have hard-fought wins over Australia and South Africa under their belts so far in the Autumn Nations Series.

Japan, meanwhile, were comfortably beaten at Twickenham last time out, a disappointing display a fortnight on from pushing the All Blacks all the way on home soil.

They drew with France in their last encounter on French soil though, back in 2017, and will be hoping to match or better that performance.

France make three enforced changes

Galthié is not one for making widespread changes and that consistency of selection is the order of the day in Toulouse.

There are three changes from the team that beat South Africa 30-26, with Reda Wardi starting at loosehead prop in place of the injured Cyril Baille, while Romain Taofifenua takes over from Thibaud Flament who was also forced off early against the Springboks.

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The final change sees Maxime Lucu take over from Dupont following his red card in Marseille, with Ollivon captaining the team as mentioned above.

There are changes on the bench where Dany Priso, Baptiste Couilloud and Florian Verhaeghe all come in, the latter in line for his Test debut.

But Galthié has stuck with his 6-2 bench split, meaning that Sekou Macalou could again spend time on the wing, as he did in the two wins over Japan in the summer.

Couilloud, meanwhile, gets his first opportunity of the autumn, having scored the winning try when France came from behind to beat Japan in July.

Japan turn to new-look half-back pairing

Following Japan’s 52-13 defeat to England, Jamie Joseph has made five changes to his side, four of them coming behind the back.

The only change up front sees Lappies Labuschagne come into the back row for Tevita Tatafu, with Kazuki Himeno shifting to No.8.

It is a new half-back pairing of Naoto Saito and Lee Seung-Sin, who started the narrow defeat to France in Tokyo, while Siosaia Fifita comes on to the wing for Gerhard van den Heever. The final change sees Shogo Nakano start at outside centre, with Dylan Riley shifting to the wing in place of Kotaro Matsushima.

There could be a debut off the bench for fly-half Hayata Nakao who joins the likes of Yutaka Nagare and Matsushima.

Teams

France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Yoram Moefana, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Maxime Lucu, 1 Reda Wardi, 2 Julien Marchand, 3 Uini Atonio, 4 Cameron Woki, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 6 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Charles Ollivon (captain), 8 Grégory Alldritt

Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Florian Verhaeghe, 20 Bastien Chalureau, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Baptiste Couilloud, 23 Matthieu Jalibert

Japan: 15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Dylan Riley, 13 Shogo Nakano, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Siosaia Fifita, 10 Lee Seung-Sin, 9 Naoto Saito, 1 Keita Inagaki, 2 Atsushi Sakate (captain), 3 Koo Jiwon, 4 Warner Dearns, 5 Jack Cornelsen, 6 Michael Leitch, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 8 Kazuki Himeno

Replacements: 16 Kosuke Horikoshi, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Shuhei Takeuchi, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Tevita Tatafu, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Hayata Nakao, 23 Kotaro Matsushima

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