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Four changes to France side

Date

Baptiste Pace

Return to the starting XV ... French back-rower Imanol Harinordoquy.

Return to the starting XV ... French back-rower Imanol Harinordoquy. Photo: Getty Images

MARCOUSSIS: Coach Philippe Saint-Andre has announced four changes to his line-up for France's Six Nations game against Ireland at the Stade de France on Saturday.

The former Sale boss took over from Marc Lievremont after the World Cup and enjoyed a 30-12 success over Italy in his first match in charge on Saturday.

Despite that win, Saint-Andre on Tuesday revealed four changes to the pack.

In the front-row Jean-Baptiste Poux takes over at loose-head prop from Vincent Debaty while Dimitri Szarzewski comes in at hooker for William Servat.

Yoann Maestri of Toulouse wins his first cap at lock in place of veteran Lionel Nallet, who drops down to the bench, while Imanol Harinordoquy takes over from Julian Bonnaire at flanker.

The backs remain as they were against Italy with Francois Trinh-Duc and Dimitri Yachvili.

"We thought we needed some new blood," Saint-Andre said.

"Maybe we put too much work in last week because it's true we lacked a bit of vitality against Italy at the start of the game.

"No one is being punished - it's team-comes-first approach. There are just some adjustments made, taking into account it's Ireland we are playing."

Ireland's strength at the line-out was given as a reason for bringing back World Cup standout Harinordoquy, who was a surprise absentee from the starting line-up against Italy.

Bonnaire also had the abilities to come on as a replacement for any of the back row positions.

"You have to remember that these days we don't play with 15 men, we play with 22. The replacements we have on the bench for Saturday will try to be more effective than the ones we had last week," Saint-Andre said.

The France team announced to play Ireland in the Six Nations tournament at the Stade de France on Saturday:

Maxime Medard (Toulouse); Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Julien Malzieu (Clermont); Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz); Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt); Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais); Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Dimitry Szarzewski (Stade Franais), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse)

Replacements: William Servat (Toulouse), Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Lionel Nallet (Racing-Metro), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Lionel Beauxis (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan)

AFP

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