With Guy Novès having been shown the door, new France coach Jacques Brunel has rung the changes for the Six Nations that starts on 3 February. Sam Tremlett reports
France Six Nations Squad 2018
Jacques Brunel has made one to the France starting XV for their Six Nations match against England in Paris on Saturday evening.
Francois Trinh-Duc replaces Lionel Beauxis at fly-half, with the latter dropping to the bench. Otherwise the match-day squad remains the same as that which beat Italy in Marseille two weeks ago.
UPDATED: France Team to play England in Six Nations – Saturday 10 March
Bonneval; Fall, Bastareaud, Doumayrou, Grosso; Trinh-Duc, Machenaud; Poirot, Guirado (captain), Slimani, Gabrillagues, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Camara, Tauleigne.
Replacements: Pelissié, Priso, Gomes Sa, Taofifenua, Galletier, Couilloud, Beauxis, Fickou.
Related: France 34-17 Italy match report
France Team to play Italy in Six Nations – Friday 23 February
Bonneval; Fall, Bastareaud, Doumayrou, Grosso; Beauxis, Machenaud; Poirot, Guirado, Slimani, Gabrillagues, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Camara, Tauleigne.
Replacements: Pelissié, Priso, Gomes Sa, Taofifenua, Galletier, Couilloud, Trinh-Duc, Fickou.
Related: Scotland 32-26 France match report
France Team to play Ireland in Six Nations – Sunday 11 February
Palis; Thomas, Lamerat, Doumayrou, Vakatawa; Beauxis, Machenaud; Poirot, Guirado (captain), Slimani, Iturria, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Camara, Tauleigne.
Replacements: Pélissié, Ben Arous, Gomes Sa, Gabrillagues, Picamoles, Serin, Belleau, Fall.
Related: France 13-15 Ireland match report
France Team to play Ireland in Six Nations – Saturday 3 February
Palis; Thomas, Lamerat, Chavancy, Vakatawa; Jalibert, Machenaud; Poirot, Guirado (capt), Slimani, Iturria, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Gourdon.
Replacements: Pelissie, Priso, Gomes Sa, Gabrillagues, Tauleigne, Dupont, Belleau, Fall.
France will be looking to continue from their positive performance at the end of last season’s championship – check out the France Six Nations Fixtures.
Related: Six Nations TV Coverage
New head coach Brunel has stamped his mark on France’s 32-man squad for the Six Nations , with three aspects standing out.
First, the selection of uncapped 19-year-old Bordeaux fly-half Matthieu Jalibert is bold, especially if he gets any game time. Talk about throwing a guy in at the deep end, as les Bleus‘ first game of the 2018 tournament is against Ireland.
Second, the omission of Louis Picamoles and François Trinh-Duc from the squad is another bold move. Picamoles may not have been playing his best rugby this year but he remains one of the game’s most powerful athletes and offers go-forward ball at the back of the scrum.
Trinh-Duc has been excluded because he has suffered a significant downturn in form. Both players have considerable Six Nations experience so questions could be raised about why the two men haven’t made it.
Baptiste Serin was another surprise omission, particularly as he plays for Bordeaux, where Brunel coached until recently. However, he has been given a reprieve following a knee injury to Clermont’s Morgan Parra, whose long wait for a 69th cap – he hasn’t played for France since the 2015 World Cup – will now be extended.
Finally, Matthieu Bastareaud has been included despite recent controversy. The Toulon centre was handed a three-week ban for homophobic language used against flanker Seb Negri during the French side’s clash with Benetton Treviso.
There are six uncapped players in the squad: Jalibert, Dany Priso (La Rochelle), Felix Lambey (Lyon), Cedate Gomes Sa (Racing 92), Geoffrey Palis (Castres) and Marco Tauleigne (Bordeaux).
It also appears as if Brunel is putting a considerable amount of faith in youth because, out of the 32 squad members, as many as 17 players are below the age of 25.
In a further change to the original squad, Toulon’s Hugo Bonneval has replaced Racing full-back Brice Dulin, who incurred a calf injury in Sunday’s Champions Cup win at Leicester.
France Six Nations Squad 2018
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