Springboks No. 8 Jasper Wiese has been ruled out of this weekend's Autumn Nations Series Test due to concussion and has been replaced by Kwagga Smith, South African Rugby's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said on Friday.
Wiese, 27, failed the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocols after taking a knock during last week's loss to Ireland and will miss Saturday's game with Les Bleus in Marseille.
Olympic sevens bronze medallist Smith, 29, is promoted from the Rugby World Cup winners' bench with Deon Fourie starting among the replacements.
"We'd hoped Jasper would pass all the criteria, HIA set of rules," Erasmus told reporters.
"Kwagga has done really well for us at eight," he added.
Erasmus and head coach Jacques Nienaber have chosen against handing 21-year-old Evan Roos a place among the substitutes instead of former Lyon forward Fourie, who can play hooker and No. 8.
"With the change so late, a guy like Deon makes more sense to us and knows French culture and the way they play," Erasmus said.
"Evan has been with us for a while now, he deserves a chance somewhere.
"We did consider it," Erasmus added.
France, captained by World Rugby player of the year Antoine Dupont, are on a record 11-match unbeaten run, which included last weekend's late win over Australia and March's first Six Nations Grand Slam victory in 12 years.
"They're not a team that goes through ups and downs emotionally," Erasmus said.
"You can see they're steady when it goes well and bad.
"They're a well-balanced team with young guys leading their team, that makes them dangerous," he added.
Nienaber's set-up have spent the week in Toulon, 70 kilometres up the Mediterranean coast from the Stade Velodrome, where they will play two group games at the World Cup in 10 months' time.
His squad for Saturday, led by Siya Kolisi, includes just five players who were absent from the Webb Ellis trophy win three years ago.
"It will be good for us, especially the guys who have never played in a World Cup to see what it will be like," Kolisi said.
"We're all getting these experiences now.
"Especially for those who haven't seen it before, it will be really good for them to see what it will be like next year," he added.