France make one change to their starting XV to face New Zealand

France make one change to their starting XV to face New Zealand

France coach Thomas Darracq has named his team for the Rugby World Cup 2021 semi-final against New Zealand at Eden Park on 5 November.

Darracq has made one personnel and one positional change to his starting line-up from the 44-0 victory over Fiji last weekend.


Romane Ménager returns to the France starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup 2021 semi-final with hosts New Zealand. She sat out the last two matches following a head knock in the 13-7 loss to England on 15 October.

Her return at number eight sees Charlotte Escudero shift to openside flanker with Marjorie Mayans dropping to the bench.

The other personnel change on the bench see Célia Domain named as replacement hooker in place of Laure Touye. Domain made her debut against New Zealand in July 2019.


Nine of the starting line-up for this semi-final also started in France’s 29-7 victory over New Zealand in their last meeting in November 2021. Agathe Sochat, Annaëlle Deshaye, Céline Ferer, captain Gaëlle Hermet, Romane Ménager, Pauline Bourdon, Caroline Drouin, Gabrielle Vernier and Maëlle Filopon all started in Castres, while Clara Joyeux and Emilie Boulard came off the bench.

France are currently on a four-game winning streak against the Black Ferns dating back to November 2018. They had lost the first five meetings between the teams. This is the first time they will meet on New Zealand soil.


This is the fourth meeting between the sides at a Rugby World Cup with the previous encounters having also been semi-finals. New Zealand won 30-0 in Barcelona in 2002, 40-10 in Canada in 2006 and 45-7 in Twickenham in 2010.

France have now reached the semi-finals in eight of the nine tournaments played, but are yet to reach the title decider.

France team to face New Zealand

1. Annaëlle Deshaye
2. Agathe Sochat
3. Clara Joyeux
4. Céline Ferer
5. Madoussou Fall
6. Gaëlle Hermet (captain)
7. Charlotte Escudero
8. Romane Ménager
9. Pauline Bourdon
10. Caroline Drouin
11. Marine Ménager
12. Gabrielle Vernier
13. Maëlle Filopon
14. Joanna Grisez
15. Emilie Boulard

16. Célia Domain
17. Coco Lindelauf
18. Assia Khalfaoui
19. Safi N'Diaye
20. Marjorie Mayans
21. Alexandra Chambon
22. Lina Queyroi
23. Chloé Jacquet

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