Brunel is clearly looking to take the battle to Wales upfront, naming a gargantuan pack that tips the scales at over 950kg.
The total weight of the pack is a staggering 962kg, a full 60kg heavier than most international sides. While it’s significantly less than a one tonne pack fielded by Toulouse in 2017, it’s almost certainly the heaviest pack fielded in international rugby history.
That puts the average weight of a player at slightly over 120kg, or a shade under 19 stone a man in old money (or 265 pounds in American). The average height of the pack is 6 foot 4 inches.
1 Jefferson Poirot
2 Guilhem Guirado (captain)
3 Uini Atonio
4 Sebastien Vahaamahina
The size of the pack isn’t the only shock.
Centre Mathieu Bastareaud (126kg) – who captained France last year – not only misses out on a place in the starting line-up, but he will not be on the bench at Stade de France either.
Coach Jacques Brunel has put his faith in the 19-year-old Ntamack, whose father, Emile, won 46 caps for Les Bleus, to take on Warren Gatland’s side after some eye-catching displays for Toulouse and France Under-20s.
Promising pop Demba Bamba, who made his international bow against Fiji last November, has only been named among the replacements.
France: Maxime Medard, Damian Penaud, Wesley Fofana, Romain Ntamack, Yoann Huget, Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Uini Atonio, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Paul Willemse, Wenceslas Lauret, Arthur Iturria, Louis Picamoles.
Replacements: Julien Marchand, Dany Priso, Demba Bamba, Felix Lambey, Gregory Alldritt, Baptiste Serin, Gaël Fickou, Geoffrey Doumayrou.
Tell us what you think about the Rugby World Cup and you could win £100