Justifying major changes to his team before they play Ireland on Saturday, France coach Marc Lièvremont said he wanted to get his whole squad involved in playing in the tournament. His "running game" tactic remains unchanged.
By Jean-Paul Couret
MARCOUSSIS, France, Feb 6 (Reuters) - France made six
changes to the team that beat Scotland 27-6 at Murrayfield to
play Ireland in their second match of the Six Nations
championship at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Julien Bonnaire comes in at number eight for Elvis
Vermeulen, ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a
Hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, prop Nicolas Mas, lock Arnaud
Mela, flyhalf David Skrela and wing Aurelien Rougerie, who
started on the bench against Scotland, are all in the starting
"There are many changes which are a reward for the spirit
the replacements showed before and during the match against
Scotland," coach Marc Lievremont told reporters after unveiling
his team on Wednesday.
"It seems logical to us to see everybody, to give everybody
a chance while keeping the team balanced."
The main surprise is the fact that winger Vincent Clerc, who
scored two tries against Scotland, will start on the bench.
"Vincent was exceptional against Scotland," said Lievremont.
"We took this decision because of the way Aurelien performed in
training. Vincent will be disappointed but this not a sanction
The little-known Louis Picamoles, who was included in the
squad on Tuesday as a replacement for Vermeulen, will start on
The fact that the selectors went for the uncapped Picamoles
and not Sebastien Chabal confirmed that the burly Sale player,
who rose to fame during last year's World Cup, was not part of
Lievremont had promised changes after taking over from
Bernard Laporte in the wake of France's World Cup semi-final
defeat by England and has been true to his word.
The new coach was praised by French media after France
played an exciting running game against Scotland.
Laporte was criticised during the World Cup for relying on
dull, defensive tactics rather than on France's trademark flair.
15-Cedric Heymans, 14-Aurelien Rougerie, 13-David Marty,
12-Damien Traille, 11-Julien Malzieu, 10-David Skrela,
9-Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, 8-Julien Bonnaire, 7-Fulgence
Ouedraogo, 6-Thierry Dusautoir, 5-Arnaud Mela, 4-Lionel Nallet
(captain), 3-Nicolas Mas, 2-Dimitri Szarzewski, 1-Lionel Faure.
Replacements: 16- William Servat, 17-Julien Brugnaut,
18-Loic Jacquet, 19-Louis Picamoles, 2O-Morgan Parra,
21-Francois Trinh-Duc, 22-Vincent Clerc.
Date created : 2008-02-06