France have named Yoann Huget at full-back and Maxime Machenaud at scrum-half in their team to face Italy on Sunday.
France coach Philippe Saint-AndrÃ© has named Yoann Huget at full-back and Maxime Machenaud at scrum-half in his team to face Italy on Sunday.
There are five changes to the starting XV that beat Samoa in November, as Benjamin Fall replaces the injured Vincent Clerc on the left wing and Huget takes over from Brice Dulin, who has been ruled out of the Six Nations, at full-back. It is Huget's first cap in the number 15 jersey for France.
Morgan Parra is relegated to the bench in favour of Machenaud.
The presence of Wesley Fofana on the right wing and Mathieu Bastareaud on the bench means there are four centres in the matchday 23, but no specialist replacement for the back three on the bench.
In the pack, Thierry Dusautoir returns on the flank with Toulouse team-mate Yannick Nyanga sent back his club. Up front, Yannick Forestier starts with Luc Ducalcon on the bench. There is no place for Thomas Domingo.
Saint-AndrÃ© said the toughest choice had been in the back row.
“We did have a debate over what was our best options in the back row. Fulgence was impressive in the line-outs in November and we wanted to see where he was with his (injured) ankle,” he said.
“[In the centres] I wasn't tempted to pivk a 10-12-13 from the same club (Ed: Toulon). Mathieu Bastareaud showed a lot of power. He can bring a lot in the last half-hour.”
France:15 Yoann Huget, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal PapÃ© (c), 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Yannick Forestier
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud
Date: Sunday, February 3:
Venue: Stadio Olimpico
Kick-off: 14.30 local (13.30 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)