Six Nations

Wounded France ring changes

2014-03-06 11:53
Philippe Saint-Andre (AFP)

Paris - France manager Philippe Saint-Andre has made seven changes to the team that put in a dismal display against Wales as Les Bleus seek to put their Six Nations challenge back on track when they face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Saint-Andre has remained loyal to Jules Plisson at flyhalf for the fourth match in a row, pairing the Stade Français player with Maxime Machenaud and relegating Jean-Marc Doussain to the bench.

The entire third row has changed with Damien Chouly, Alexandre Lapandry and Sebastien Vahaamahina forming a combination that provides more power than pace.

"Some changes were made because of injuries," Saint-Andre told a news conference on Thursday, referring to hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, centre Wesley Fofana and flanker Yannick Nyanga.

Others were simply punished after France produced a miserable performance in a 27-6 defeat in Cardiff on Feb. 21.

"When you start one game but not the following one, it is a sanction," said Saint-Andre, who axed number eight Louis Picamoles from the squad after he sarcastically applauded the referee at the Millennium Stadium when he was sin-binned.

"If we want Pascal Pape to do his job as a captain, he needs to have 14 players around him who are focused on working on the pitch," Saint-Andre warned.

France are one of four teams level on four points after three games and beating Scotland would set up a mouth-watering finale against Ireland at the Stade de France.

"Players owe themselves a chance of revenge," Saint-Andre said.

"Let's not lie to ourselves... we were just not there against Wales. We were beaten on the essence of our sport: combat."

Teams:

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Johnnie Beattie, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Ryan Grant

Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Max Evans

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape (captain), 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Thomas Domingo

Substitutes: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Gael Fickou

Read more on:    france  |  six nations  |  philippe saint-andre  |  rugby
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