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Youngster Vincent in for Vakatawa in lone France change for Italy

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Paris (AFP)

Inexperienced Montpellier centre Arthur Vincent replaces injured Virimi Vakatawa in the only change to France's starting line-up to face Italy in the Six Nations this weekend from the opening victory over England.

Vakatawa, 27, who has scored seven tries for Racing 92 this season, was ruled out earlier in the day with a triceps problem suffered in the thrilling 24-17 win over the Rugby World Cup runners-up last Sunday.

Double world under-20 champion Vincent is set to make his first Test start this Sunday after coming off the bench for the final 30 seconds against England.

"He is a player who has the perfect career path. French youth teams, most notably a part of the world champion generations and captain last year," Galthie said.

"He's trained really well with us. To put it simply we expect him to be himself, to bring the strong aspects to his play. His maturity and his youth too," he added.

After Vincent's promotion Toulon lock Romain Taofifenua comes onto the bench for an unusual 6-2 split between forwards and backs.

The Azzurri will announce their team for the fixture at the Stade de France later on Friday. They lost 42-0 to Wales in their campaign opener last weekend.

France (15-1):

Anthony Bouthier; Teddy Thomas, Arthur Vincent, Gael Fickou, Damian Penaud; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon (capt), Francois Cros; Paul Willemse, Bernard Le Roux; Mohamed Haouas, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Jefferson Poirot, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Boris Palu, Cameron Woki, Baptiste Serin, Mathieu Jalibert

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