Scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde will captain France for the first time in his career in their opening Test match against South Africa on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Toulouse player replaces Dimitri Yachvili, who won the Top 16 final with his club Biarritz at the weekend and will be rested for their first clash with the Springboks.
Elissalde, who has nine international caps and was named Les Bleus' vice-captain at the weekend after lock Jerome Thion pulled out with a thigh injury, now takes Yachvili's place in the starting line-up.
''For me the scrum-half is the natural captain of a team, he is the leader of the game,'' said coach Bernard Laporte.
''In the case of Dimitri and Jean-Baptiste, they both must prove that they can also be the men's leaders.
''In the absence of Fabien Pelous, Dimitri was the ideal candidate after he imposed himself during the Six Nations and clearly became a leader.
''He is capable of living up to expectations even if he has to be the captain, the game leader and the goalkicker.
''As Dimitri will be absent against the Springboks, it was logical to choose Jean-Baptiste, who was named vice-captain.''
Meanwhile, team manager Jo Maso is looking forward to their summer tour which will see them face South Africa in Durban on Saturday and in Port Elizabeth on June 25 before taking on Australia on July 2 in Brisbane.
''We are about to play one of the best South African teams ever,'' said Maso.
''Last year, people said they were dying but they won the Tri-Nations. Their players are very competitive, strong and gifted.
''And we will have to show our values and qualities if we are to beat them.''
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