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Published: 10:48 | 11/2/16

Six changes for France


France head coach Guy Noves has made six changes to his starting XV for Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash against Ireland in Paris.

Louis Picamoles suffered a tournament-ending hamstring injury in last weekend's victory over Italy and his place at number eight goes to Damien Chouly, who joins Yacouba Camara and Wenceslas Lauret in the back row.

Uini Atonio and Jefferson Poirot both come into the front row in place of Eddy Ben Arous and Rabah Slimani. Guilhem Guirado starts at hooker, while Alexandre Flanquart starts ahead of Paul Jedrasiak in the second row where he is joined by Yoann Maestri.

Centre Gael Fickou misses out for personal reasons with Maximo Mermoz starting in midfield alongside Jonathan Danty. Teddy Thomas starts on the wing to join Maxime Medard and Virimi Vakatawa in the back three, while Jules Plisson and Sebastien Bezy are retained in the half-back line.

"We have worked our defensive organisation, to try to counter the Irish. It will be a tough match, but it is hoped that it will be difficult also for the Irish," Noves commented.

France (XV v Ireland): M Medard; T Thomas, M Mermoz, J Danty, V Vakatawa; J Plisson, S Bezy; J Poirot, G Guirado, U Atonio, A Flanquart, Y Maestri, W Lauret, Y Camara, D Chouly.

Replacements: C Chat, R Slimani, E Ben Arous, P Jedrasiak, L Goujon, M Machenaud, J-M Doussain, H Bonneval.


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