Planet Rugby

France pick uncapped Plisson at ten

30th January 2014 08:36

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New man: Jules Plisson

France coach Philippe Saint-André has selected uncapped Stade Français fly-half Jules Plisson to face England on Saturday.

Plisson will partner Toulouse scrum-half Jean-Marc Doussain in what will be the tenth different half-back combination tried out by Saint-André since he took over two years ago.

There are two more changes to the backline from the XV that faced the Springboks back in November, with Mathieu Bastareaud starting in place of Florian Fritz and Maxime Médard coming in for the crocked Sofiane Guitoune.

Upfront Pascal Papé has replaced injured talisman Thierry Dusautoir as captain, partnered by Alexandre Flanquart in the second row instead of Yoann Maestri, with Thomas Domingo winning the start at loosehead prop in place of Yannick Forestier.

Louis Picamoles returns to the starting side at number eight in a back-row featuring Bernard Le Roux and Yannick Nyanga - a completely different unit to the one that faced South Africa, with Wenceslas Lauret and Damien Chouly both dropped.

Chouly is one of six forwards on the bench as France opt for only two backs replacements and no specialist fly-half - with Maxime Machenaud and Gael Fickou the two options - although Doussain has played at ten for his club, Toulouse.

France finished last in the 2013 Six Nations for the first time since 1999.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Pascal Papé (c), 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Damien Chouly, 22 Maxime Machenaud, 23 Gael Fickou

Date: Saturday, February 1
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kickoff: 18:00 (local, 17:00 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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