Six Nations

Kockott to make France debut

2015-02-04 12:02
Rory Kockott (Gallo Images)

Marcoussis - South African-born scrumhalf Rory Kockott will make his first start for France in their Six Nations opener against Scotland on Saturday in Paris, coach Philippe Saint-Andre announced on Wednesday.

After three substitute appearances for Les Bleus during the November internationals, the 28-year-old Castres half-back will line-up alongside Camille Lopez, who starts at flyhalf.

It will be the 14th different starting half-back pairing aligned by Saint-Andre since taking over the France reins three years ago - in November, Toulon scrumhalf Sebastien Tillous-Borde started all three Tests but was suffering from a knee injury in the build up to the Six Nations.

"It's logical (to pick Kockott) given our organisation in November," said Saint-Andre.

"Rory... has been able to work on his combination with Camille Lopez these last two weeks (while Tillous-Borde was injured)."

Saint-Andre added that the former Sharks and Lions player was "a competitor by spirit who is very good in contact."

Lopez, who moved from relegated Perpignan to giants Clermont at the start of this season, stamped his authority on the No 10 jersey with some commanding performances in the autumn. It means Kockott's half-back partner at Castres, Remi Tales, who was first choice in last season's Six Nations, starts on the bench.

Clermont scrumhalf Morgan Parra is recalled to the bench having missed the November internationals due to a shoulder injury.

Scott Spedding, another South African born player who only made his France debut in November, continues at fullback while Stade Francais prop Rabah Slimani comes in at tighthead, with veteran Nicolas Mas not even making the bench.

The 34-year-old Montpellier player, who has donned the France shirt 76 times was even overlooked in favour of Uini Atonio, who starts among the replacements.

"With what Rabah has shown at Stade Francais, with his movement and reactivity, it's normal that he starts," said Saint-Andre.

Barrel-chested back Mathieu Bastareaud comes in at outside centre in place of the injured Alexandre Dumoulin, while La Rochelle flank Loann Goujon will make his debut if he comes off the bench.


15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini

Substitutes: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Eddy Ben Arous, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Remi Lamerat


Read more on:    six nations  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will win the 2016 Six Nations title?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.