France shift Gael Fickou to wing for Wales clash

Date published: February 20 2020

France head coach Fabien Galthie has named Gael Fickou on the wing for their game against Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

The 25-year-old has been Les Bleus’ defensive linchpin in the opening two rounds, but a crisis on the left wing has seen Fickou shift across.

With Vincent Rattez, who has been ruled out of the tournament, and Damian Penaud injured, that means Arthur Vincent takes his place at inside centre alongside the returning Virimi Vakatawa.

The XV otherwise remains unchanged with Teddy Thomas and Anthony Bouthier joining Fickou in the back three, while Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack once again combine at half-back.

Meanwhile, there are a few alterations among the replacements with Toulouse star Thomas Ramos finally getting his chance after being selected in the number 23 shirt.

There are potential debuts for flanker Dylan Cretin and young prop Jean-Baptiste Gros, while Camille Chat, who has been superb for Racing 92 this season, is back from injury.

France: 15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Grégory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 François Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Thomas Ramos

Date: Saturday, February 22
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)