History maker Ntamack handed key role against Argentina

French youngster is entrusted with steering the side from the pivotal fly-half position in the crucial Pool C encounter.

TOKYO, 19 Sep - Romain Ntamack will make history when he lines up at fly-half for France against Argentina in Tokyo on Saturday.

The 20-year-old only made his senior international debut in February this year but coach Jacques Brunel has entrusted him with the responsibility of leading the team from outside-half in the crucial Pool C clash.

It will be a proud day for the Ntamack family. Romain’s father, Emile, played for Les Bleus at the Rugby World Cups in 1995 and 1999, and this weekend they will become the first father-son combination to represent France on the game’s greatest global stage.

At the other end of the scale in terms of experience, Guilhem Guirado and Louis Picamoles are both set to appear in a third World Cup.

Guirado is the only French starter who also started in the 62-13 defeat by New Zealand in the quarter-finals at RWC 2015. Replacements Louis Picamoles and Bernard Le Roux were also in the starting XV on that day.

Maxime Medard, meanwhile, will be playing in his second World Cup having featured in all seven matches at RWC 2011, including the final against New Zealand, but missing out on selection in 2015.

Lock Paul Gabrillagues is suspended for the opening match, but will be available for the second game against the USA on Wednesday, 2 October.

 FRANCE

  1. Jefferson Poirot
  2. Guilhem Guirado (capt.)
  3. Rabah Slimani
  4. Arthur Iturria
  5. Sebastien Vahaamahina
  6. Wenceslas Lauret
  7. Charles Ollivon
  8. Gregory Alldritt
  9. Antoine Dupont
  10. Romain Ntamack
  11. Yoann Huget
  12. Virimi Vakatawa
  13. Gael Fickou
  14. Damian Penaud
  15. Maxime Medard

  16. Camille Chat
  17. Cyril Baille
  18. Demba Bamba
  19. Bernard Le Roux
  20. Louis Picamoles
  21. Maxime Machenaud
  22. Camille Lopez
  23. Thomas Ramos

 RNS bdj/icr/sw