Hooker William Servat and scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili were named in France's XV for their opening World Cup clash with Japan in North Harbour on Saturday despite Servat not having played since June 4.
The 32-year-old has been out of action since Toulouse's French victory over Montpellier in the Top 14 final after suffering a knee injury, but France coach Marc Lievremont has opted to give him a starting role.
"The start of the preparatory camp was modified a little for me with regards to my injury," said Servat.
"Things progressed very well but until today (Tuesday) I was really not certain I would play in the match.
"It is obviously a hugely satisfying moment for me."
Lievremont - who steps down after the tournament - also named prop Fabien Barcella and veteran centre Aurelien Rougerie in the team, despite both having just returned to action following months out through injury.
Barcella played in the warm-up victory over Ireland on August 20 after a year out with an Achilles tendon problem, while Rougerie also returned in that match having been out for three months with a broken bone in his ankle.
"This is the best team for the moment," said Lievremont, who admitted last week he hadn't bothered suggesting staying on as coach as he didn't think the powers that be would have wanted him to.
"Without doubt things will evolve and that there will be an opportunity to see all the players in the first two matches (the second one against Canada on September 18).
"We have tried to analyse the preparation, the two matches (victories over Ireland).
"We tried to be objective while taking into account certain injured players who were not available, in the three-quarters especially.
"Also, we focussed on two players that we wanted to drop into the deep end, William Servat particularly and Fabien Barcella," added the 42-year-old.
Rougerie - competing in his third World Cup - will be partnered by former rugby league star Fabrice Estebanez in the midfield, while Lievremont has preferred another veteran in Yachvili in the No.9 jersey to 30-year-old Rougerie's Clermont teammate Morgan Parra.
Yachvili's inexperienced Biarritz clubmate Raphael Lakafia will win his second cap in the backrow alongside hardened veteran and another clubmate Imanol Harinordoquy.
Lievremont is hoipng to have both veteran utility back Damien Traille and injury-prone centre Maxime Mermoz back for the second group match after they recovered from injuries, though, wing Alexis Pallison's return to action will take longer.
After Japan, France - who have twice been finalists with Lievremont playing in the 1999 loss to Australia - play Canada on September 18 in Napier, then the likely-table topping decider against hosts the All Blacks on September 24 in Auckland and wind up the group games against Tonga on October 1 in Wellington.
France: 15 Cedric Heymans, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Julien Bonnaire, 19 Pascal Papé, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 David Skrela, 22 David Marty.
Date: Saturday, September 10,
Kick-off: 18.00 (06.00 GMT)
Venue: North Harbour Stadium, North Shore (Auckland)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland)), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.