Six Nations

France name team to face Scotland

2017-02-10 12:48
Guy Noves (Getty)

Marcoussis - Flanker Loann Goujon replaces Damien Chouly in coach Guy Noves's solitary change to his France team announced on Friday to face Scotland in the Six Nations on Sunday.

France made a positive start to their Six Nations campaign last week but still went down 19-16 to England at Twickenham and Noves has kept faith with almost his entire starting line-up.

Goujon, 27, will win his 15th cap as he replaces veteran Chouly, 31, who drops to the bench.

Although losing to last season's Grand Slam winners a week ago, France posted some impressive statistics during the match, making more yards, more offloads and beating more defenders than England over the 80 minutes.

All that was lacking was the points on the board and Noves has retained 21 of his match-day 23, the only other changes seeing forwards Christopher Tolofua and Julien Le Devedec come onto the bench in place of hooker Clement Maynadier and lock Arthur Iturria.

Noves said Goujon will give his side more power.

"We wanted a little more density in the pack, although they're two very similar players," said Noves.

"The aim is to be a bit more powerful."

France's defensive statistics were also better than England's with fewer errors and tackles missed.

But for the third time in a matter of three months, they lost a closely-fought encounter against a top side following test defeats to Australia (25-23) and New Zealand (24-19) in November.

"It's true that against Australia we could have won but didn't; against New Zealand we had a chace at the end and lost by little; against England we lost at the end: it's annoying," said Noves.

They welcome a buoyant Scotland who were in fine form a week ago as they eased past highly-fancied Ireland 27-22 at Murrayfield.

"They had a tough year or two but now their work is starting to bear fruit," Noves said of the Scots.

"You can see that physically and technically they're not the same Scotland of a few years ago."

Teams:

France

15 Scott Spedding, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Loann Gujon, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Cyril Baille

Substitutes: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Xavier Chiocci, 19 Julien Le Devedec, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Yoann Huget

Scotland

15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Allan Dell

Substitutes: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 John Hardie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett

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