Paris is the next stop for South Africa who take on France in the last of Saturday’s November rugby internationals.
France v South Africa, Saturday 10th November, Paris, KO 22:00 (South African time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant refs: Matthew Carley (England), Tom Foley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
Weather Forecast - Paris
France were not in action last week so this will be their first test since they lost 3-0 in New Zealand on their June tour. France started 2018 with 2 wins and 3 defeats in the Six Nations. Victories came against Italy (34-17) in Marseille and most notably England (22-16) in Paris. A last gasp drop goal saw them go down 15-13 to Ireland in Paris and they also lost narrowly in Scotland (32-26) and Wales (14-13).
In the November internationals of 2017 Les Bleus lost 38-18 to the All Blacks and 18-17 to the Boks in Paris before a 23-23 draw with Japan.
After this France will host Argentina and they wrap up the year against Fiji
The Boks dominated the first half of last week’s opening tour match against England at Twickenham but they didn’t turn that advantage into points. They led just 8-6 at half time and England improved in the second 40 minutes and edged home 12-11. There was drama right at the end with the Boks denied a penalty many thought should have been awarded but they made too many errors throughout the game and the line out was a big part of the problem. A 33rd minute try from Nkosi was the only try of the match.
Last week’s clash at Twickenham fell outside of the official international window but this week the Boks have the option of selecting and or all of Faf de Klerk, Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw and Vincent Koch.
On the end of year tour in 2017 South Africa started badly, hammered 38-3 by the Irish in Dublin. They recovered to edge out France 18-17 in Paris and also beat Italy 35-6 in Padua but they lost their final tour match 24-22 to Wales in Cardiff.
After this the Boks will visit Scotland and the tour ends in Wales.
France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Mathieu Babillot, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Gael Fickou
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2017 INT Paris France 17-18 South Africa (Tries 2-2)
2017 INT Johannesburg South Africa 35-12 France (Tries 4-0)
2017 INT Durban South Africa 37-15 France (Tries 4-2)
2017 INT Pretoria South Africa 37-14 France (Tries 4-2)
2013 INT Paris France 10-19 South Africa (Tries 1-1)
2010 INT Cape Town South Africa 42-17 France (Tries 5-2)
2009 INT Toulouse France 20-13 South Africa (Tries 1-1)
2006 INT Cape Town South Africa 26-36 France (Tries 1-4)
2005 INT Paris France 26-20 South Africa (Tries 3-2)
2005 INT Port Elizabeth South Africa 27-13 France (Tries 3-1)
2005 INT Durban South Africa 30-30 France (Tries 3-4)
France +3.5 points at 9/10 widely available
South Africa -3.5 points at 9/10 widely available
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
The Boks can’t afford a repeat of the error strewn display at Twickenham but with the squad bolstered by half a dozen arrivals this could be the game where they peak on this end of year tour. However, I expect France to provide stern opposition on home turf and will rather go with some stats as the inspiration for a selection.
I won’t put too much emphasis on Les Bleus’ 3-0 series defeat in New Zealand in June as that was a formidable task at the time. Of their 6 Nations matches, 4 of 5 were settled by no more than 6 points with the exception being a home win against whipping boys Italy.
Perhaps even more relevant, 4 of the last 5 Boks outings have been settled by no more than 4 points, so they too have developed an appetite for a close contest.
I was on the mark at Twickenham last week with a call of either team to win by 1-7 points including the draw and will chance my arm with that outcome again.
Chris’s Bet: 3.5 units, Either side to win by 1-7 points including the draw, 12/10 Sunbet
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