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Traille makes unexpected return to bench for final

Updated: October 20, 2011, 21:29


AUCKLAND, New Zealand(AP) France coach Marc Lievremont has recalled utility back Damien Traille to the bench for Sunday's Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand.

Traille's World Cup appeared to be over when he was dropped for three matches following the 37-17 pool stage loss to the All Blacks.

But his ability to play in several roles and his defensive kicking have worked in his favor for the final.

Traille has scored 15 tries in 85 tests for France, and also played in the 2007 quarterfinal win over the All Blacks, when his excellent kicking in general play from fullback helped take the pressure off the defense.

Traille takes the place of fullback Cedric Heymans, who drops out of the 22-man match squad.

Lievremont waited until Friday to name his reserves bench, three days after confirming the same starting XV he has used throughout the knockout stage.

Otherwise, Lievremont has kept the same reserves who were on the bench for the 9-8 semifinal win over Wales, with flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc and utility halfback Jean-Marc Doussain providing cover for Dimitri Yachvili and Morgan Parra.

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France: Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson, Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvili; Imanol Harinordoquy, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Lionel Nallet, Pascal Pape, Nicolas Mas, William Servat, Jean-Baptiste Poux. Reserves: Dimitri Szarzewski, Fabien Barcella, Julien Pierre, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Jean-Marc Doussain, Francois Trinh-Duc, Damien Traille.

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