France almost fell victim to their own rotation policy as a much-changed side battled past Uruguay 27-12 last Thursday.

Fabien Galthie has responded by making 12 changes, reverting to something more familiar to the team he will hope to put out in the knockout stages when they run out at a vociferous Stade Velodrome on Thursday 21 September.

Pity poor Namibia then, who after shipping a combined 123 points in defeats to Italy and New Zealand, are likely to be in big bother against Les Bleus.

France vs Namibia Prediction

  • France -70.5 @ 5/6
  • Mathieu Jalibert, Thomas Ramos & Melvyn Jaminet – Anytime Tryscorers @ 2.92/1

Team news

Galthie has made 12 changes to the team that defeated Uruguay, with only Cameron Woki, Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Anthony Jelonch keeping their places.

Of the starting XV that won against New Zealand on the opening night, 10 players have been selected but the big news is that centre Jonathan Danty and prop Cyril Baill make their first appearances of the tournament.

Wing Damian Penaud is looking to extend his five-game scoring streak, while number eight Gregory Aldritt has been rested for the game.

Namibia boss Allister Coetzee will be without centre Le Roux Malan, who has undergone surgery after suffering a serious ankle injury against the All Blacks.

The former South Africa boss has made nine changes to his side, with Danco Burger replacing Malan, while Jacques Theron makes his first international start and Cliven Loubser moves up to fly-half from full-back.

France -70.5 @ 5/6

Namibia were game in their opening 52-8 win defeat against Italy, but were blown away as they went down 71-3 to New Zealand.

Against a stacked France, with a point to prove, in Marseille, there only looks to be one outcome and after having almost a fortnight off, Les Blues’ big guns will be raring to go.

Galthie’s team beat the Kiwis 27-13 on opening night, a scoreline that flattered their opponents. With Danty back, they now have more go-forward in midfield and half-backs Antoine Dupont and Mathieu Jalibert will be looking to build off the momentum provided by the 30-year-old.

How often they get the ball may depend on whether their forwards want to give it to them, or in turn want to bulldoze through a struggling Welwitschias defence.

Either way, there is a chance for France to go big ahere.

Mathieu Jalibert, Thomas Ramos & Melvyn Jaminet – Anytime Tryscorers @ 2.92/1

Speaking of Jalibert, he was excellent against New Zealand, putting any doubts to bed about him being able to step in for the injured Romain Ntamack.

Despite himself crossing for his team’s opener, Antoine Hastoy’s issues against Uruguay cemented Jalibert’s spot as his team’s number 10 and Namibia’s recent games make him one to watch in the tryscorer market.

Both Italy’s Paolo Garbisi and the Kiwis’ Damien McKenzie grabbed tries from fly-half and Jalibert’s own slaloming style makes him a candidate to do the same.

To add value, it is also worth backing Thomas Ramos and Melyin Jaminet. Jaminet grabbed a try against the Kiwis and although on the bench, could get plenty of minutes should Galthie look to protect Jalibert.

In doing so, the dangerous Thomas Ramos might be pushed up to fly-half and Jaminet go in at full-back.

Ramos, whose prestigious boot means he is averaging 17 points per international in 2023, also offers a threat with ball in hand and it would be no surprise to see all three go over in a comprehensive rout.

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