France ring changes for Wales clash
Thursday 15 March 2012
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made five changes and one
positional switch for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales in
Prop Nicolas Mas, hooker Dimitri Szarzewski and scrum-half Julien Dupuy are among those left out after Les Bleus' 24-22 home defeat to England four days ago.
Perpignan forward Mas is replaced by Stade Francais tighthead David Attoub, who is now playing again after serving a 70-week ban for eye-gouging Ireland international flanker Stephen Ferris during a Heineken Cup clash between Stade and Ulster.
The highly-experienced Toulouse hooker William Servat is in for Szarzewski, while Saint-Andre's other changes come behind the scrum.
Vincent Clerc is ruled out by an injury that forced him off against England, so Wesley Fofana, who has scored a try in all four of France's Six Nations games this season, switches from centre to wing.
Florian Fritz takes Fofana's place in midfield alongside Aurelien Rougerie, with starts also handed to wing Alexis Palisson and scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili.
Toulon speedster Palisson, a try-scorer against Wales at the Millennium Stadium two years ago, takes over from Julien Malzieu, with Yachvili replacing Dupuy.
Saint-Andre has opted to promote Yachvili above Morgan Parra, who remains on replacement bench duty.
France cannot win the Six Nations title, but they will prevent Wales from landing their third Grand Slam in eight seasons if they triumph this weekend.
Les Bleus have only lost once from six previous Cardiff visits in the Six Nations - a 29-12 defeat four years ago when Wales clinched the Grand Slam.
Team: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse); W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), F Fritz (Toulouse), A Palisson (Toulon); L Beauxis (Stade Francais), D Yachvili (Biarritz); J-B Poux (Toulouse), W Servat (Toulouse), D Attoub (Stade Francais), P Pape (Stade Francais), Y Maestri (Toulouse), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), J Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz).
Replacements: D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), V Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), J Pierre (Clermont Auvergne), L Picamoles (Toulouse), M Parra (Clermont), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), J-M Buttin (Clermont Auvergne).
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