'No surprise' for France's Galthie with Ntamack at centre for Pumas Test

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France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Thursday it was "no surprise" for regular fly-half Romain Ntamack to start at centre with Matthieu Jalibert at stand-off for this weekend's home Test with Argentina.

Bordeaux-Begles' Jalibert will wear the No.10 shirt as Toulouse's Ntamack covers for injured midfielders Virimi Vakatawa and Arthur Vincent.

Jalibert is the league's leading points scorer this season whilst Ntamack claimed the domestic and European double last term.

"These two players for two years now have been among the best players in the Top 14," Galthie told a press conference.

"Quite often Romain has played centre with Toulouse, he has a lot of experience at 'five-eighth' as you might say.

"We've worked on the Matthieu and Romain association. They're prepared, they were ready for this eventuality. There's no surprise," he added.

Ntamack's club team-mate Thibaud Flament will make his international debut for Saturday's game at the Stade de France.

Flament, 24, grew up in Belgium, studied at Loughborough University, played for their fifth team and spent a year at Argentine top-flight side Club Newman.

Last season Flament, who starts as Bernard Le Roux has been released back to Racing 92 for this weekend's Top 14 trip to Brive, joined record 21-time French champions Toulouse from English side Wasps.

"You could say he was an oddity, due to his journey, it's what's interesting. A globe-trotter," Galthie said.

"As a child, he used to sleep under a France shirt every night, which was on the ceiling. Every night, the last thing he would see was the France shirt.

"I think this player has a unique destiny," he added.

Jalibert's domestic half-back partner Maxime Lucu will make his Test bow if he comes off the bench.

Scrum-half Antoine Dupont will captain the side for the first time with skipper Charles Ollivon suffering from a long-term knee issue.

La Rochelle's Gregory Alldritt is named on the bench with Anthony Jelonch, who led a second-string side during July's Test series defeat at the hands of the Wallabies in Ollivon's absence, at No.8.

Stade Francais back-rower Sekou Macalou is the sixth forward among the substitutes' bench due to his ability to play on the wing.

France team (15-1)

Melvyn Jaminet; Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Romain Ntamack, Gabin Villiere; Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Dupont (capt); Anthony Jelonch, Cameron Woki, Francois Cros; Paul Willemse, Thibaud Flament; Mohamed Haouas, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Jean-Baptise Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Gregory Alldritt, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Lucu, Jonathan Danty

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