France forced to ring changes

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:17
Large philippe saint andre walks

France will be missing 12 potential first-choice players when they travel to Edinburgh to face Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday.

France will be missing 12 potential first-choice players when they travel to Edinburgh to face Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday.

But for those set to fill the void, it is an opportunity to prove they belong at this level.

For various reasons, coach Philippe Saint-Andre will have to do without a host of players who mostly would have been in his 23-man match-day squad.

No.8 Louis Picamoles has been suspended by the French federation for sarcastically applauding Irish referee Alain Rolland during the 6-27 defeat to Wales in Cardiff 10 days ago.

Scrumhalf Morgan Parra is suspended after being sent-off for his club side Clermont for headbutting New Zealander Rene Ranger.

But others, centres Wesley Fofana and Florian Fritz, wing Sofiane Guitoune, flyhalf Camille Lopez, flanks Thierry Dusautoir, Yannick Nyanga, Fulgence Ouedraogo and Bernard Le Roux or hookers Benjamin Kayser and Dimitri Szarzewski, are all injured.

It means that for players such as Clermont No.8 Damian Chouly, this is a chance to prove he can step up to the plate.

"We're not going to exploit others' pain but then again, he [Picamoles] is not there so for sure it gives me a chance to play," said the 28-year-old who has been capped 16 times.

Another who could get his chance, due to a poor performance by Jean-Marc Doussain against Wales, is Racing-Metro scrum-half Maxime Machenaud.

Given the absence of Parra, many were surprised to see him lining up on the bench for France's first three Six Nations matches, but he looks set to get a start at Murrayfield.

"I was obviously disappointed to be a substitute but then I still had a role to play [coming off the bench] and I tried to give 300 percent. But what I really want is to start matches," said the 25-year-old of 14 caps.

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Mon, 20 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 14h45 Bloemfontein
TUT v WSU 16h30 Pretoria
UWC v Rhodes 16h30 Cape Town
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Durban
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Stellenbosch
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Potchefstroom
UJ v UP-Tuks 17h00 Johannesburg
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 2 2 0 0 8
Ireland 2 1 0 1 6
Wales 2 1 0 1 5
France 2 1 0 1 5
Scotland 2 1 0 1 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0