Michalak ends five-year hiatus

Fri, 22 Jun 2012 15:22
We wanted to see Fred and Maxime for what they showed over the last fortnight

Sharks flyhalf Frederic Michalak will make his first start for France in almost five years in Saturday's clash against Argentina in Tucumán.

French boss Philippe Saint-Andre made six changes to the side that lost 20-23 to Argentina in Cordoba last weekend, with Michalak slated to start his first game since his France's 34-10 defeat to the Pumas in the third-place game at the 2007 World Cup.

Saint-Andre also handed an international debut to Agen scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud, meaning that Francois Trinh-Duc and Morgan Parra will start on the bench.

"We wanted to see Fred [Michalak] and Maxime [Machenaud] for what they showed over the last fortnight," explained Saint-Andre.

Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz replaces Wesley Fofana and will start alongside Florian Fritz, while Racing Metro's Benjamin Fall takes the places of Jean-Marcellin Buttin on the wing.

Flank Alexandre Lapandry and prop Vincent Debaty also come in for Wenceslas Lauret and the injured Yvan Watremez.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 7 Louis Picamoles, 6 Alexandre Lapandry, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape (captain), 3 David Attoub, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Vincent Debaty.
Replacements:  16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Wenceslas Lauret, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Francois Trinh-Duc, 22 Wesley Fofana.

Date: Saturday, June 23
Venue: Estadio José Fierro, Tucumán.
Kick-off: 18.10 (21.10 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)