Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Two changes for France

Philippe Saint-Andre will be looking for a response from his team after the Italy defeat

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made two changes to the team beaten by Italy last weekend for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales in Paris.

Powerful Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud replaces Florian Fritz, while Bastareaud's club colleague Jocelino Suta takes over from injured captain Pascal Pape in the second row.

Flanker Thierry Dusautoir will skipper the side as Les Bleus look to bounce back from their shock 23-18 defeat in Rome.

Saint-Andre has resisted any temptation to tinker with his side elsewhere, notably at half-back, where Frederic Michalak and Maxime Machenaud remain his preferred pairing.

"You say you don't change a winning team. Well, we say we don't change a losing team. The players need to bounce back," Saint-Andre told reporters.

"We keep this group so we can find collective solutions, not individual solutions.

"After that defeat we will see the true nature of this group. We will see what it is. I look forward to Saturday.

"I was angered by the (Italy) game. This will be a second chance for everyone."

France team: Y Huget (Toulouse); W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), M Mermoz (Toulon), M Bastareaud (Toulon), B Fall (Racing Metro); F Michalak (Toulon), M Machenaud (Racing Metro); Y Forestier (Castres), D Szarzewski (Racing Metro), N Mas (Perpignan), J Suta (Toulon), Y Maestri (Toulouse), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), L Picamoles (Toulouse).

Replacements: B Kayser (Clermont Auvergne), V Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), L Ducalon (Castres), R Taofifenua (Perpignan), D Chouly (Clermont Auvergne), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), F Fritz (Toulouse).

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