Key Points:

France has recalled No 8 Elvis Vermeulen, three years after he won the last of his three caps, in their starting 15 for the first rugby test against New Zealand.

Coach Bernard Laporte handed his second start at first five-eighths to Damien Traille, who won 45 of his 46 caps as a second five-eighths.

He selected 22-year-old hooker Dimitri Szarzewski ahead of the experienced Raphal Ibanez and Thierry Dusautoir ahead of Remy Martin as flanker to replace Serge Betsen, who was omitted from the 22-player squad through lack of form.

France will face the All Blacks on Sunday (NZ time) in Lyon before hosting them a week later at the Stade de France.

Meanwhile accusations of All Blacks law-bending have spread across the English Channel, with French coaching staff calling for their "illegalities" at the breakdown and scrum to be penalised.

France forwards coach Jacques Brunel yesterday joined England rugby coach Andy Robinson and media pundits in condemning New Zealand's "cynical" style.

"The All Blacks try to outsmart the rules and the referees on set pieces and rucks and they benefit from a lot of indulgence," said Brunel.

His accusations follow those of England coach Robinson, who described the All Blacks as "streetwise" during last weekend's 41-20 victory at Twickenham.

"The disappointment from our side is that they were lying around the ball and stopping the speed of the ball coming back," Robinson said.

Brunel questioned how All Blacks captain Richie McCaw got away with as much as he did.

"Richie McCaw is a wonderful player but to be the great scavenger he is he has to be always on the verge of foul play."


Julien Laharrague, Aurelien Rougerie, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Christophe Dominici, Damien Traille, Dimitri Yachvili, Elvis Vermeulen, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir, Pascal Pape, Fabien Pelous (captain), Pieter de Villiers, Dimitri Szarzewski, Sylvain Marconnet


Raphael Ibanez, Olivier Milloud, Lionel Nallet, Remy Martin, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, David Marty, Cedric Heymans.