French ring changes with four new caps

Rugby Union
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The Independent Online
Rugby Union

France have named an experimental line-up, including four uncapped players, for the friendly against Romania in Aurillac a week on Saturday.

The hooker Herve Guiraud, lock Hugues Miorin, flanker Christophe Moni and wing David Venditti are the new men the French selectors hope will revitalise their fortunes after the recent Five Nations disappointment.

The French manager, Jo Maso, said: "We need to try out players who are keen to assert themselves." The coach, Jean-Claude Skrela, added: "It was a sad winter for France. In spring, I want players who are eager to play and enjoy themselves."

Richard Dourthe, who was sidelined at the end of the championship after stamping on England's Ben Clarke, returns at full-back in place of Jean- Luc Sadourny who asked to be rested. Alain Penaud returns as stand-off, forcing Thomas Castaignede on to the bench.

The hooker Jean-Claude Gonzalez, the flanker Laurent Cabannes and the stand-off Thierry Lacroix are the main absentees.

FRANCE (v Romania, Aurillac, 20 April): R Dourthe; D Venditti, O Campan, S Glas, P Saint-Andre (capt); A Penaud, G Accoceberry; C Califano, H Guiraud, F Tournaire, O Roumat, H Miorin, C Moni, M Lievremont, A Benazzi. Replacements: E Ntamack, T Castaignede, P Carbonneau, T Labrousse, M de Rougemont, J- L Jordana.

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