France throw teenage flyhalf into lion's den
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Teenager Matthieu Jalibert will make his France debut in the Six Nations against tournament favourites Ireland on Saturday.
After the inexperienced 19-year-old's surprise call-up to new coach Jacques Brunel's first squad, Jalibert has been thrust straight into the lion's den at the Stade de France by his former coach at Bordeaux-Begles.
Racing 92 scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud will partner Jalibert at halfback while fullback Geoffrey Palis will also make his debut.
There are four uncapped players on the replacements bench: hooker Adrien Pelissie, props Cedate Gomes Sa and Dany Priso, and back-row forward Marco Tauleigne.
France: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Adrien Pelissie, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Benjamin Fall.
Date: Saturday, February 3
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 17.45 (16.45 UK and Ireland time; 16.45 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
🔴 Les Bleus sont #PrêtsAuCombat ! Découvrez la composition de l’équipe désignée par le sélectionneur Jacques Brunel et son staff pour affronter l’Irlande samedi au @StadeFrance ! #soutiensleXV #FRAIRL pic.twitter.com/vazmm3GdTm— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) February 1, 2018