Michalak at ten for new-look France

Date published: August 20 2015

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Frédéric Michalak will start for France for the first time in over a year against England in Paris on Saturday.

Philippe Saint-André has made 12 changes to the team that lost to the English at Twickenham a week ago, with Yoann Maestri, Louis Picamoles and Scott Spedding the only players to keep their places.

Michalak will link up with Toulon teammate Sébastien Tillous-Borde in the half-backs, while Mathieu Bastareaud and Wesley Fofana combine in the centres.

Like Tillous-Borde, Noa Nakaitaci has shaken off a niggle to start on the wing, opposite Yoann Huget, while up front Bernard le Roux and Damien Chouly get their first chance in the back row.

Pascal Papé will captain the team in the absence of Thierry Dusautoir, while the front row features props Rabah Slimani and Eddy Ben Arous, either side of Guilhem Guirado.

France: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé (c), 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Gaël Fickou

Date: Saturday, August 15
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Johnny Lacey (Ireland), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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