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Rugby World Cup: France name unchanged team for Wales semi

| 11.10.2011

France boss Marc Lievremont saw enough quality in his side’s convincing victory against England last Saturday to stick with the same men for their World Cup semi final against Wales.

The French are the first of the four semi-finalists to name their team and there are no surprises.

The only doubt – scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili – is in the starting XV despite being replaced early in the second half against England.

Lievremont said: “He will be rested until at least Thursday, but he will play.”

Meanwhile, Wales winger Shane Williams has admitted the current Wales team is the best he has ever been a part of.

He said: “We are a far stronger squad, mentally and physically, than any I’ve ever been involved in.

“I am sure a lot of the younger players don’t care a monkey’s about records, previous matches, or previous World Cups.

“They just want to get through to this cup final and win it.

“I just want to be part of a Welsh side that wins the World Cup. If we do, I’d happily hang up my boots.”

Despite their excellent performances so far, Wales will have a tough time against the French who have won their previous three meetings with Warren Gatland’s men and were convincing 28-9 winners last time out.

However, Wales head into the game as narrow favourites at 5/6, with France out at 1/1 to make it to their third World Cup final.

FRANCE: Maxime Médard, Vincent Clerc, Aurélien Rougerie, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson; Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvili; Jean-Baptiste Poux, William Servat, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Papé, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Julien Bonnaire, Imanol Harinordoquy.



Richard Anderson