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By Chris Rattue

Thierry Dusautoir
France’s flanker and captain Thierry Dusautoir. Photo / Getty Images
France’s flanker and captain Thierry Dusautoir. Photo / Getty Images

The French captain has had two wonderful World Cup games for France against the All Blacks, in the 2007 quarterfinal win and 2011 final defeat. Surprisingly left out of France’s initial squad in 2007, but called up as an injury replacement and tackled himself to a standstill at Cardiff. The flanker has been called the “dark destroyer”. His father was a French soldier, his mother from the Ivory Coast where he was brought up until 10. Dusautoir only began playing rugby at 16. Where Dusautoir goes, France will follow. Such is his influence, he may be the most important player on the field this Sunday morning.

Louis Picamoles
Louis Picamoles of France is renowned as a devastating ball carrier. Photo / Getty Images
Louis Picamoles of France is renowned as a devastating ball carrier. Photo / Getty Images
No. 8 Picamoles is part of a greater-than-usual Parisian presence in the 2015 squad. He is renowned as a devastating ball carrier, but his major mark on the 2015 World Cup so far is a smashing tackle on Ireland’s Jonny Sexton. Dan Carter will be warned. In an Irish Times story, Toulouse team mate Census Johnston – the Samoan prop – said Picamoles relied on remarkable natural strength rather than lifting big weights in the gym. His galloping running style – on strong hips and thighs – has knocked away many a tackler, and he has lovely ball skills. The All Blacks will need to shut Picamoles down from the outset.

Rabah Slimani
France’s prop Rabah Slimani (L) has had a good tournament so far. Photo / Getty Images
France’s prop Rabah Slimani (L) has had a good tournament so far.