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France look for revenge over Pumas in playoff

PARIS, Oct 19 (Reuters) Third place will be no consolation to hosts France but Bernard Laporte's side will be determined to sign off from the World Cup with a win over Argentina at the Parc des Princes today 0030 hrs IST.

Semi-final defeats by England and South Africa condemned France and Argentina to a third-place playoff, with France at least having the chance to exact revenge for their 17-12 defeat by the Pumas in the opening game of the tournament.

France back Damien Traille has been ruled out with a knee injury and is replaced at outside centre by David Marty, while prop Pieter de Villiers has recovered from a calf injury. Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda has been forced to make changes from the side that lost 37-13 to the Springboks in their semi-final on Sunday.

The most affected section of the team comes in the front row with tighthead prop Martin Scelzo and hooker Mario Ledesma out injured, and replaced by Omar Hasan and Alberto Vernet Basualdo.

It will be the last match in charge of their respective countries for Laporte, set to take up a position in the French government, and Loffreda, who will move to England as coach of the Leicester Tigers.

Reuters AB DB0950

Story first published: Friday, October 19, 2007, 10:36 [IST]
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