France v New Zealand: Teams
At Stade Ernest Wallon, Saturday October 31, kick-off 5pm
Last Updated: 30/10/09 11:29am
Goulding: Selection problems
France have been given special dispensation to delay the announcement of their team to face New Zealand, live on Sky Sports.
Watch all the action from the Four Nations clash in Toulouse LIVE on Sky Sports 2/HD2 from 4.55pm on Saturday
Coach Bobbie Goulding had just 16 fit players in training earlier this week with injury, illness and suspension decimating the French.
Knee injuries have accounted for Jean-Philippe Baile, Sebastien Raguin and Cyril Gossard, while prop Remi Casty is sidelined with a broken hand.
David Ferriol is still serving a ban and to make things even worse, Dimtri Pelo has been in quarantine since Sunday after being diagnosed with swine flu.
However it is hoped the Catalan Dragons winger will be passed fit to feature in the home fixture against the Kiwis in Toulouse.
With so many ruled out Goulding was allowed to call up New Zealand-born duo Artie Shead and Andrew Bentley, who qualify for France on residency grounds. Both forwards could be thrown in at the deep end this weekend.
France led 12-4 against England in their opening fixture but were eventually beaten 34-12 in Doncaster. They also ended the game with only 12 men after Baile was red-carded for a high shot on Richie Myler.
Having coming so close to beating Australia last weekend, New Zealand will be hoping to secure a victory when they travel to Stade Ernest Wallon.
Only a late Cameron Smith try denied the Kiwis at the Twickenham Stoop, though the 20-20 draw does leave the battle for places in the final wide open.
Greg Eastwood, who will be joining Leeds Rhinos for next season, missed the match against the Kangaroos with a hamstring injury but has now recovered and takes a seat on the bench.
Coach Stephen Kearney has promoted St Helens-bound Iosia Soliola into the starting line-up while there's a debut for second-rower Ben Matulino.
The forward pair take the places of Bronson Harrison and Jeff Lima, who are both ruled out with calf injuries.
"While it's disappointing for Bronson and for us that he won't be able to play this week, Sia has done a fantastic job off the bench in the last two weeks. That made it easy for us," said Kearney.
New Zealand called up South Sydney back-rower Eddy Pettybourne during the week to complete their squad having intially only named a 23-man party.
New Zealand: Hohaia (NZ Warriors); Perrett (Sydney Roosters), Matai (Manly), Sa'u (Newcastle), Goodwin (Canterbury); Marshall (Wests Tigers, capt), Fien (St George Illawarra); Nuuausala (Sydney Roosters), Leuluai (Wigan), Moimoi (Parramatta); Soliola (Sydney Roosters), Pritchard (Penrith), Blair (Melbourne).
Subs: Luke (South Sydney), Eastwood (Canterbury), Waerea-Hargreaves (Manly), Matulino (NZ Warriors).