Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Saint-Andre makes five changes

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has rung the changes for Saturday's international against Tonga in Le Havre.

The France XV sees five alterations from the side that lost 26-19 to New Zealand last weekend, with Perpignan's Sofiane Guitoune earning a first cap, coming in for Yohan Huget on the right wing.

Other changes see Gael Fikcou take over at centre from Florian Fritz, while Fulgence Ouedraogo, Sebastien Vahaamahina and Dimitri Szarzewski also get the nod ahead of Wenceslas Lauret, Pascal Pape and Benjamin Kayser respectively.

Frederic Michalak and Mathieu Bastareaud have returned to the matchday selection and will start on the replacements' bench, while Morgan Parra and Remi Tales again comprise Saint-Andre's halves pairing.

Saturday's game at Le Havre's Stade Oceane marks a rare foray away from the team's spiritual home at Stade de France, and Toulon fly-half Michalak is looking forward to sampling a different atmosphere.

"I'm looking forward to playing at Le Havre, in a stadium where the crowd is close to us," he said.

"It is true that at the Stade de France, it is sometimes a little cold. We do not always feel the fans. "

France team: Dulin; Guitoune, Fickou, Fofana, Medard; Tales, Parra; Forest, Szarzewski, Mas, Vahaamahina, Maestri, Dusautoir (capt.), Ouedraogo, Chouly.

Replacements: Kayser, Debaty, Slimani, Ipo, Leroux, Pelissie, Michalak, Bastareaud.


From Belfast Telegraph