Sebastien Chabal will start in the second row for France in the must-win World Cup game with Ireland on Friday. Captain Raphael Ibanez starts, while centre Yannick Jauzion has been left out. David Marty and Damien Traille will be the centres, with Serge Betsen replacing Yannick Nyanga on the flank. Coach Bernard Laporte has also recalled prop Olivier Milloud and lock Jerome Thion for the Pool D clash in Paris. Frederic Michalak continues at fly-half.
When Laporte named his World Cup squad Chabal was viewed as a back-up option at second row but the Sale Sharks player, who has become a folk hero in France, has now forced his way into the first-choice team.
Pool D is the most closely contested at the World Cup, with Argentina, France and Ireland all in the top six in the IRB world rankings and this game will have a major impact on who progresses from the pool stage.
France Team V Ireland
Backs: Poitrenaud, Clerc, Marty, Traille, Heymans, Michalak, Elissalde.
Forwards: Milloud, Ibanez(C), De Villiers, Chabal, Thion, Betsen, Dusautoir, Bonnaire.
Replacements: Szarzewski, Poux, Nallet, Nyanga, Beauxis, Jauzion, Rougerie.