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Dupont-less France limit changes to three for final game with Japan

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

France boss Fabien Galthie has opted to change just three of his starting XV for this Sunday’s Autumn Nations Series finale with Japan in Toulouse. The French go into the match off the back of an atmospheric 30-26 win over the Springboks in Marseille, a success that extended their winning run to twelve Test games.

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Not since the series-deciding loss to Australia in July 2021 have the French lost and the consistency with their latest team selection highlights their determination to continue to impress ahead of next year’s Six Nations title defence which will be followed by them hosting the Rugby World Cup.

With Antoine Dupont suspended for four matches following his red card last weekend, Maxime Lucu is promoted from the bench to start and his spot in the replacements is filled by Baptiste Couilloud.

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The other two France XV changes against Japan come in the pack. Loosehead Cyril Baille has been replaced by Reda Wardi, another sub from last week whose bench spot now goes to Dany Priso. Lock Romain Taofifenua is also promoted from the subs, starting in place of Thibaud Flament. Florian Verhaeghe comes into the replacements.

The remainder of the bench is the same as it was against South Africa, with Galthie again persisting with a six/two forwards/backs split.

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