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Dusautoir returns from injury as France count down to big World Cup opener

“This team could very well be like the one that will take on Italy,” says PSA.

CAPTAIN THIERRY DUSAUTOIR returns to action for France in their final World Cup warm-up game against Scotland at the Stade de France on Saturday.

The 33-year-old flanker, who skippered France into the World Cup final in New Zealand four years ago, has been sidelined for a month with a knee injury and missed the first two preparation games against England.

Rugby Union - 2015 RBS Six Nations - France v Scotland - Stade de France Source: Andrew Matthews

With the World Cup opener against Italy looming on September 19, coach Philippe Saint-Andre feels the time is right to send the flanker back into action.

“He is in top form and he is important for us. He has prepared himself well for this match,” he said.

Dusautoir will replace Bernard Le Roux to win his 76th cap, one of only two changes to the team that started the 25-20 win over England. The other sees lock Yoann Maestri rested to fully recover from bruised ribs with his place going to Alexandre Flanquart.

“We did not want to take any risks,” said Saint-Andre of Maestri’s injury.

The rest of the line-up is the same with Frederic Michalak and Sebastien Tillous-Borde given another run at half-back and the centres, wingers and full-back also retained.

“This team could very well be like the one that will take on Italy,” Saint-Andre said.

Apart from Italy, France face Ireland, Canada and Romania in Group D in England with the top two going through to the quarter-finals.

France (v Scotland):

15. Scott Spedding
14. Yoann Huget
13. Mathieu Bastareaud
12. Wesley Fofana
11. Noa Nakaitaci
10. Frederic Michalak
9. Sebastien Tillous-Borde

1. Eddy Ben Arous
2. Guilhem Guirado
3. Rabah Slimani
4. Pascal Papé
5. Alexandre Flanquart
6. Thierry Dusautoir (captain)
7. Damien Chouly
8. Louis Picamoles

Replacements:

16. Dimitri Szarzewski
17. Vincent Debaty
18. Nicolas Mas
19.Bernard Le Roux
20. Yannick Nyanga
21. Morgan Parra
22. Remi Tales
23. Alexandre Dumoulin

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AFP

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