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Fabien Sanconnie set for debut as France make changes for Italy clash

France have handed a debut to young flanker Fabien Sanconnie and have made two changes to their back three for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations match with Italy in Rome.

Brive back-rower Sanconnie, 22, replaces Bernard Le Roux in one of four alterations to the starting line-up that lost to Ireland.

Racing 92 duo Brice Dulin and Virimi Vakatawa take over respectively from full-back Scott Spedding and wing Yoann Huget.

In the second row Brive's Julien Le Devedec partners Yoann Maestri instead of Sebastien Vahaamahina.

Coach Guy Noves is boosted by the availability of experienced fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc who is on the bench after recovering from a broken arm.

He could form a half-back partnership with Antoine Dupont, the 20-year-old Castres scrum-half who is in line for a debut from the bench.

Juggernaut centre Mathieu Bastareaud is still missing as he recovers from concussion.

Italy named their team on Tuesday, making three changes from defeat to England at Twickenham.

Carlo Canna replaces Tommaso Allan at fly-half, Angelo Esposito takes over on the wing from Giuglio Bisegni and at hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini comes in for Ornel Gega.

France: B Dulin (Racing 92), N Nakaitaci (Clermont Auvergne), R Lamerat (Clermont Auvergne), G Fickou (Toulouse), V Vakatawa (Racing 92), C Lopez (Clermont Auvergne), B Serin (Bordeaux-Begles); C Baille (Toulouse), G Guirado (Toulon, capt), R Slimani (Stade Francais), Y Maestri (Toulouse), J Le Devedec (Brive), F Sanconnie (Brive), K Gourdon (La Rochelle), L Picamoles (Northampton).

Replacements: C Tolofua (Toulouse), U Antonio (La Rochelle), E Ben Arous, (Racing 92), P Jedrasiak (Clermont Auvergne), B Le Roux (Racing 92), A Dupont (Castres), F Trinh-Duc (Toulon), Y Huget (Toulouse).


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