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France replace Clerc with rookie

26th January 2013 14:20

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Stade Fran ais fullback or wing Hugo Bonneval

Called up: Hugo Bonneval

France have called uncapped Stade Français full-back/wing Hugo Bonneval into their Six Nations squad to replace injured veteran Vincent Clerc.

Clerc sustained a thigh injury in Toulouse's win over Biarritz on Friday and is set to be sidelined for eight to ten days, ruling him out of les Bleus' opening fixture against Italy on Sunday February 3.

22-year-old Bonneval is a surprise selection ahead of the likes of Toulon's Alexis Palisson.

Bonneval has only started five games for Stade Français this season, four of which were at full-back. He scored one try against Toulon.

"Hugo is a young player full of talent that has been on our radar," said head coach Philippe Saint André.

"He will join our group after Vincent Clerc's withdrawal and will discover how we work. I hope Vincent recovers quickly and can be competitive as soon as possible."

Clerc is only four tries short of equalling Serge Blanco's national record of 38.

The members of France's 33-man squad began arriving on the outskirts of Paris on Saturday.

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Saturday , March 15
Italy 11 - 52 England
Wales 51 - 3 Scotland
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Ireland 46 - 7 Italy
Scotland 17 - 19 France
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