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'We did a lot of medical work' - Injured France star relishing World Cup return

By PA
France's flanker Charles Ollivon and France's prop Cyril Baille take part in the captain's run training session at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille on September 20, 2023, on the eve of their match against Namibia during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

France forward Cyril Baille is relishing his first appearance at the Rugby World Cup as he prepares to return from injury.

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The loosehead prop is among 12 changes made by head coach Fabien Galthie for France’s Pool A showdown against Namibia in Marseille on Thursday.

Centre Jonathan Danty will make his World Cup debut as he marks his own injury comeback, with just three players selected from the side that survived a scare to beat Uruguay 27-12 last week.

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WATCH as Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok speaks about his face-off with Irish legend Johnny Sexton – one of the key aspects of Saturday’s World Cup Pool B crunch match in Paris

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WATCH as Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok speaks about his face-off with Irish legend Johnny Sexton – one of the key aspects of Saturday’s World Cup Pool B crunch match in Paris

Baille is back in the fold for Les Bleus after he sustained a calf injury in last month’s 30-27 warm-up victory against Scotland.

“We did a lot of medical work with the staff and the trainers,” said the 30-year-old who plays for Toulouse.

“My friends helped me a lot, we worked well. Physically, I feel good. I know I need a little rhythm. I really want to be back with the group and I’m very happy to be on the field tomorrow.

“I started training again this week and it went well. We did what was necessary to get me in great shape and I am very excited about starting tomorrow. It’s more excitement than apprehension.”

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France will be expected to record their third win from as many matches against a Namibia side that has conceded 123 points and 18 tries in their two matches so far.

But Galthie warned: “They (Namibia) totally deserve their place on the international stage, and when it comes to wearing the jersey with the national team, there is no doubt about their commitment.”

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