- France - Italy - rugby - Six Nations
Castres winger Marc Andreu earns first cap for France
French coach Marc Lièvremont has made two changes to his team ahead of the home clash against Italy, with Castres winger Marc Andreu (pictured right) and Perpignan centre David Marty joining the fold.
REUTERS - France winger Marc Andreu will start for the first time in the Six Nations game against Italy on Sunday after coach Marc Lievremont made two changes to his team for the game at Stade de France.
Andreu and centre David Marty replace Julien Malzieu and Mathieu Bastareaud respectively from the team that beat Wales 26-20 last month in Cardiff to stay on course for a grand slam.
France will host England on March 20 in their last match in the championship and will hope to still be on course for their first title since 2007 and their first grand slam since 2006.
The forwards will be unchanged from the match against Wales, with number eight Imanol Harinordoquy ruled fit to play despite sustaining a back injury at the weekend.
"We hesitated to go for a reshuffle, particularly for the forwards as the substitutes were really convincing when they came on in Cardiff," Lievremont told reporters on Wednesday.
"We decided to opt instead for a form of unity and continuity with our pack that has given us a lot of satisfaction since the start of the championship," he added.
Lievremont said he was taking nothing for granted against Italy, who registered a rare Six Nations win by beating Scotland in their previous outing.
"We do fear Italy," he said. "It will be a tricky match because we are the clear favourites.
"Nobody's thinking about England, nobody's thinking about the grand slam," he added. "If we win (against Italy), we will be almost certain to win the championship. Then we can start thinking about the grand slam".
Squad: 15-Clement Poitrenaud, 14-Marc Andreu, 13-David Marty, 12-Yannick Jauzion, 11-Alexis Palisson, 10-Francois Trinh-Duc, 9-Morgan Parra; 8-Imanol Harinordoquy, 7-Julien Bonnaire, 6-Thierry Dusautoir, 5-Julien Pierre, 4-Lionel Nallet, 3-Nicolas Mas, 2-William Servat, 1-Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16-Dimitri Szarzewski, 17-Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18-Sebastien Chabal, 19-Alexandre Lapandry, 20-Dimitri Yachvili, 21-Mathieu Bastareaud, 22-Julien Malzieu.