France: Uini Atonio returns for Les Bleus’ Six Nations finale against Wales

Jared Wright
paul willemse France head coach Fabien Galthie has named his team for the Six Nations clash with Wales at the Stade de France, with Uini Atonio returning to the starting lineup.

France head coach Fabien Galthie has named his team for their Six Nations clash with Wales at the Stade de France, with Uini Atonio returning to the starting line-up.

France head into the game off the back of a resounding 53-10 victory over England at Twickenham, while Wales claimed their first win of the Championship, defeating Italy 29-17.

Atoni returns, Willemse ruled out

Galthie has made just two changes to his starting XV, with Atonio returning at tighthead prop after serving his suspension while Romain Taofifénua replaces the injured Paul Willemse.

Atonio has served his three-week suspension after his illegal tackle on Ireland hooker Rob Herring in Round Two of the Championship.

He comes straight back into the starting line-up at the expense of Toulouse prop Dorian Aldegheri, who falls out of matchday 23.

The rest of the front-row is unchanged, with Julien Marchand at hooker and Cyril Baille.

Meanwhile, there is a change in the second-row as Willemse sustained a hamstring injury against England last weekend. He is replaced in the starting line-up by Taofifénua, who packs down alongside the ever-present Thibaud Flament.

The back-row is also unchanged with double try scorer against England, Charles Ollivon, at number seven with Francois Cros on the opposite side of the scrum and Gregory Alldritt at number eight.


Man of the match against England and the tournament’s top points scorer, Thomas Ramos, starts at full-back for the fifth time this Six Nations. Likewise, Damian Penaud and Ethan Dumortier are the wingers.

After a standout performance on his return at Twickenham, Jonathan Danty starts at inside centre with Gael Fickou his midfield partner.

Antoine Dupont captains the side at scrum-half alongside Romain Ntamack. 

There is one further change to the matchday squad as Montpellier lock Bastien Chalureau fills Taofifénua’s vacancy on the bench. Peato Mauvaka, Reda Wardi, and Sipili Falatea provide front-row cover, with Seckou Macalou covering the back row.

The backline replacements are Maxime Lucu, Yoram Moefana, and Melvyn Jaminet.

France still has a chance of defending the Six Nations but would need England to beat Ireland on Super Saturday and would need to beat Wales.

The team

France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (c), 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Romain Taofifénua, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Bastien Chalureau, 20 Seckou Macalou, 21 Maxime Lucu, 22 Yoram Moefana, 23 Melvyn Jaminet

Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 15:45 local (14:45 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

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