South Africa will be looking to rectify a tough loss to England this weekend against France.

Autumn Internationals France vs South Africa Preview

A week after losing to England in controversial fashion, South Africa will go up against France in Paris this weekend.

One of the few teams to not schedule a match outside of the international window, France are playing their first match of the Autumn. After coming off an up and down Six Nations and a 3-0 series whitewash against New Zealand, which was not as one-sided as the score suggests, Les Bleus will be looking to kick off their campaign against the Springboks.

However they have a dismal record of late against South Africa. They played four times in 2017 and the French failed to win a single match with the 18-17 loss in November being the closest affair. In fact the French have not beaten the Springboks since 2009, so they are facing a tall order.

That being said, on paper, Jacques Brunel has named a strong side as you can see below.

South Africa are coming off a loss to England however Rassie Erasmus has had the luxury of being able to select his overseas based players this time around – such as  Franco Mostert, Faf de Klerk, Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Vincent Koch and Francois Louw.

Three of those players have gone straight into the starting line-up and the other three have gone to the bench so clearly this is a stronger outfit than the one that trotted out against England despite the injury to Eben Etzebeth which rules him out.

What did the coaches say? 

Speaking on the inclusion of Maxime Medard instead of Benjamin Fall, Brunel said “For the Springboks, territory is all important. We think that Maxime has a longer kicking game than Benjamin. He is one of the most experienced players we have.”

He also admitted; “we are looking for the spine,” which refers to his attempts to find reliable players at hooker, number eight, scrum-half, fly-half and full back. In Guirado, Picamoles, Serin, Lopez and Medard, we are not sure he has found what he is looking for.

Springbok Coach Rassie Erasmus said; “The French are very physical and skilful, and we will have to be good on defence and also be disciplined.

“The conditions here in the northern hemisphere demand a different approach and while we created a lot of opportunities last week we have to better with our execution.”

Kick-off Details

France v South Africa, Stade de France, Paris, 8.05pm. Referee: Nigel Owens

What are the line-ups?


Maxime Medard, Teddy Thomas, Mathieu Bastareaud, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Damian Penaud, Camille Lopez, Baptiste Serin; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado, Cedate Gomes Sa, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Yoann Maestri, Wenceslas Lauret, Arthur Iturria, Louis Picamoles

Replacements: Camille Chat, Dany Priso, Rabah Slimani, Paul Gabrillagues, Mathieu Babillot, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Gael Fickou

South Africa

Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi; Handré Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (capt), Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Embrose Papier, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe

Interesting Stats

  • Handré Pollard needs one point to reach 300 career points in Test rugby. Should he score 14 points or more in this Test, he will surpass Naas Botha’s career record of 312 points and will move up to fourth position on the all-time point scoring list for South Africa.
  • The Springboks’ first Test at the Stade de France was the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against England on 24 October 1999 – Jannie de Beer scored 34 points through two conversions, five penalty goals and a world record of five drop goals.
  • The referee is Nigel Owens of Wales, the most experienced referee in the world, carrying the whistle in 85 Test matches

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