France make four changes for Italy clash

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 12:54
Large guilhem guirado and guy noves 2017 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: France coach Guy Noves made four changes to his side for this weekend's Six Nations clash in Italy.

Fullback Brice Dulin, wing Virimi Vakatawa, lock Julien Le Devedec and newcomer Fabien Sanconnie were the changes to the side which lost 9-19 to Ireland in Dublin.

Flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc has been named on the bench as he makes his return from four months being sidelined with a broken arm.

Scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, called up as possible cover for Maxime Machenaud, could get his first start like Sanconnie at the Stadio Olimpico.

France lost against England and Ireland but beat Scotland, while Italy are heading for another wooden spoon after consecutive defeats to Wales, Ireland and England.

It is the 40th time the sides will meet, France winning 36 of their previous encounters and Italy three. Italy's last win over France came at the Olimpico in 2013.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Louis Picamoles, 6 Fabien Sanconnie, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Julien Le Devedec, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Eddy Ben Arous, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Bernard le Roux, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Yohann Huget.

Date: Saturday, March 11
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 France time; 13.30 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), JP Doyle (England)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Agence France-Presse

South Africa A vs French Barbarians
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