Virimi Vakatawa will keep a promise made to his mother shortly before her death when he starts for France against Argentina in their World Cup clash on Saturday.
The Racing 92 centre has been named in the starting XV by Jacques Brunel, 18 months after promising his mother that he would take part at the World Cup.
Vakatawa took a France jersey with him to her funeral in Fiji, placing it on her coffin and promising that he would go to the World Cup.
He said: “When she died I returned to Fiji with a France jersey. I promised that I would do everything to get back into the France team and play at the World Cup. That is what motivated me.”
His place in the starting XV is something of a surprise considering that Vakatawa was not even in France’s initial wider training squad for the World Cup.
However, an injury to Geoffrey Doumayrou saw him called up, and he has since impressed the coaching staff and was in fine form in a warm-up clash with a local Japanese side last week.
As a result, he will come into the team in place of the injured Wesley Fofana and make his first start in the centres for France.
The former Sevens star had previously featured for Les Bleus on the wing, but now gets an opportunity in his preferred position, making a first start since the 2018 Championship.