Mas experience the key

Date published: March 5 2015

France want to call on the experience of Nicolas Mas after he returned to their squad for next week's game with Italy.

While the Montpellier tighthead is not guaranteed to feature against the Azzurri, as one of three tightheads in the 30-man squad, forwards coach Yannick Bru believes his experience will have a big impact.

Mas is one of four players who return to the squad, along with Maxime Mermoz, Rory Kockott and Alexandre Flanquart, as they try to bounce back from last week's defeat to Wales.

While Philippe Saint-André had expressed his frustration at his players over the weekend, he has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes.

"Nicolas' experience will help the squad in their preparation for Italy," said Bru. 

"He's an important member of the squad and was part of the training camps. His experience will be an asset before the trip to Rome. Our two young tightheads have done well and remain in the squad.

"The players are getting familiar with each other so we want some continuity. Alexandre is fit again after some fitness issues so it makes sense for him to come back in. Will look for some balance and his profile offers our pack a different option."

"Maxime started against Argentina in November and knows our systems and so can quickly gel with the squad," added backs coach Patrice Lagisquet. 

"As for Rory, he's fully fit after his muscle strain which had stopped him form kicking for a few weeks. He replaces Morgan to whom we wish a speedy recovery."