France coach Marc Lievremont broke his reputation of constantly tinkering with player combinations by naming, for the first time, an unchanged starting XV to play Wales in their World Cup semifinal on Saturday.
In a huge confidence boost for the side that rebounded from a final pool loss to Tonga to beat England 19-12 in last week's quarterfinal, Lievremont again stood by his controversial decision to play Morgan Parra at flyhalf.
Specialist No.10 Francois Trinh-Duc remains on the bench, while goal-kicking Dimitri Yachvili partners Parra at scrumhalf for a France team bidding to avoid a repeat of semifinal exits at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.
Thierry Dusautoir captains the side from flank, alongside Julien Bonnaire and No.8 Imanol Harinordoquy, with Lionel Nallet and Pascal Pape starting in the second row.
Nicolas Mas and Jean-Baptiste Poux prop up hooker William Servat, with Aurelien Rougerie and Maxime Mermoz teaming up in midfield.
The exciting back three sees Maxime Medard at fullback, with Vincent Clerc and Alexis Palisson on the wings.
"It's undoubtedly the best team," said Lievremont after announcing his side on Tuesday.
It was the first time in 43 matches since taking over for the 2008 Six Nations that Lievremont named an unchanged team, mirroring predecessor Bernard Laporte's ill-fated decision to not tinker with the side that shocked New Zealand in the 2007 quarterfinal before losing to England in the semifinals.
"We've notched up three victories over Wales recently but to look ahead at the semifinal with that view would be getting off to a losing start," Lievremont said.
"We have to look for some massive motivation against a Welsh team I find particularly impressive. They have real quality up front, intelligence, courage in defence and a good team spirit."
Lievremont, who played in the France side beaten in the 1999 final by Australia, added: "Fatigue does play a part, but I had no hesitation in picking this team.
"We are Latin, they (Wales) are Anglo-Saxons, more pragmatic. We'll have to seek more stability.
"Advancing into the semifinals is a big deal, we're happy with the players' performance. There was no euphoria after the quarterfinal. We have to remain focused and aggressive.
"We can't rest on our laurels."
Wales, who beat Ireland in their quarterfinal, are due to name their side on Thursday.
France, losing finalists in both 1987 and 1999, have yet to win the World Cup while Wales's best finish saw them come third at the inaugural 1987 edition.
France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Morgan Parra, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements (from): Dimitri Szarzewski, Fabien Barcella, Julien Pierre, Louis Picamoles, Francois Trinh-Duc, David Marty, Cedric Heymans, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Jean Marc Doussain.
Date: Saturday, October 15
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 21.00 (08.00 GMT)
Referee: Alain Rolland
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan, Wayne Barnes
TMO: Giulio De Santis
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