Michalak back in France squad to face Springboks

France rugby coach Marc Lievremont has recalled flyhalf Frederic Michalak to face World Cup winners South Africa in next month’s Test match.

France is without injured kicker Lionel Beauxis, and Lievremont urged Michalak to take his chance at No. 10.

“We are still waiting for him to confirm his potential even though Fred has 50 caps for France,” Lievremont said. “There is always the hope that he will show his best form.”

Lievremont picked France Under-21 captain Alexandre Lapandry on Wednesday but decided against recalling center Mathieu Bastareaud, who has apologized for lying to New Zealand police about being assaulted on tour in June.

“We didn’t pick Mathieu Bastareaud despite his statement yesterday.
I regret that it wasn’t done before but we can’t keep going back over this affair which ruined our summer,” Lievremont said. “But water will flow under the bridge and I hope that Mathieu gets back in the team if his performances warrant it.”

To compensate for South Africa’s superior strength in the pack, Lievremont named 17 forwards in his squad.

“South Africa winning the World Cup was not really a surprise, but I get the impression they have got even better since then,” Lievremont said. “They largely dominated the Tri-Nations series this summer and the spine of their team is extremely strong.”

Lievremont added that Lapandry “has shown over two seasons that he can play at the top level” and deserves a chance.

France plays South Africa in Toulouse on November 13, followed by games against Samoa at Stade de France and New Zealand in Marseille.—Sapa-AP

France squad:
Forwards: Fabien Barcella, Thomas Domingo, Dimitri Szarzewski, William Servat, Luc Ducalcon, Sylvain Marconnet, Nicolas Mas, Lionel Nallet, Romain Millo-Chluski, Sebastien Chabal, Pascal Pape, Imanol Harinordoquy, Louis Picamoles, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Thierry Dusautoir, Antoine Burban, Alexandre Lapandry.
Backs: Julien Dupuy, Morgan Parra, Frederic Michalak, Francois Trinh-Duc, Yannick Jauzion, Maxime Mermoz, Yann David, David Marty, Cedric Heymans, Benjamin Fall, Vincent Clerc, Maxime Medard, Damien Traille.

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