France ring changes
Paris - France coach Philippe Saint-Andre on
Thursday made seven changes to his side to take on England in a Six
Nations match at Twickenham on Saturday.
Having lost their two
opening games against Italy and Wales, Saint-Andre notably restored the
halfback partnership of Francois Trinh-Duc and Morgan Parra which
brought France the Grand Slam in 2010 and took them to the World Cup
final in 2011.
Also back are hooker Benjamin Kayser, prop Thomas
Domingo, flanker Yannick Nyanga and top try scorer Vincent Clerc, the
winger having missed the last two games through injury.
return sees Wesley Fofana revert to centre where he will partner Mathieu
Bastareaud, who retains his place after returning to the French squad
for this year's tournament.
There is also a first start for
Castres lock Christophe Samson, who takes over from Jocelino Suto, who
struggled physically in the 16-6 loss to Wales at the Stade de France.
said that after two demoralising defeats - France's worst ever start
to the Six Nations - the time was ripe for some fresh blood to be
brought in to take on an English side brimming with confidence after
three straight wins.
"The English will start favourites," he said.
"We will have to show all our qualities of being French on Saturday - that means being brave, daring, unpredictable and to take the fight to
"When we are able to do that, we are able to pose problems for any team in the world.
be honest, it's always a good thing when we French have our backs to
the wall. That forces us to regroup and to better prepare individually
for what will be a bruising contest."
The return of Trinh-Duc and
Parra means that the halfback pairing of Frederic Michalak and Maxime
Machenaud, preferred by Saint-Andre since he took over as coach from
Marc Lievremont, drops down to the bench.
They were oustanding in
the November Test wins over Australia, Argentina and Samoa but looked
generally lacking ideas and penetration against Italy and Wales.
England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben
Youngs, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Geoff Parling,
4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Substitutes: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 James Haskell, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Danny Care, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.
France: 15 Yoann
Huget, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Yannick Nyanga,
6 Thiery Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Nicolas Mas,
2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Substitutes: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski,
17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Maxime
Machenaud, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Florian Fritz.