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France change-up midfield and opt for 6-2 split on bench for Ireland

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Fresh from their Guinness Six Nations round one win over Italy last Sunday, France have now named their team to face Ireland in round two on Saturday.

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Fabien Galthie has made two personnel changes to the starting XV in a clash billed as by some as a potential tournament decider.

There is a change at centre, with Bordeaux’s Yoram Moefana coming into the side at 12, replacing the injured Jonathan Danty, with Gael Fickou moving to 13.

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There is also a change on the replacements bench, with Galthie opting for a 6-2 split, with Dylan Cretin dropping to 21.

Thibaud Flament is also named on the bench, with Francois Cros promoted to the starting XV.

The Six Nations favourites began their bid for a first title since 2010 with a 37-10 bonus-point win over Italy at a rain-soaked Stade de France last weekend, with winger Gabin Villiere running in a hat-trick of tries.

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Galthie was unable to attend the match against Italy due to a positive Covid-19 result, with France team manager Raphael Ibanez taking the reins in his absence.

“You could tell after 20 minutes we were lacking rugby together. Through the game I thought the boys did well,” Ibanez told ITV. “Five tries and five points is good. Villiere is a warrior. He is a very good finisher. He is a good example for all of his teammates for his spirit.”

“For next week we have to step up in every department. Ireland are not fourth in world ranking for nothing. The game they played yesterday was good.”

Team: 15-Melvyn Jaminet, 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Gael Fickou, 12-Yoram Moefana, 11-Gabin Villiere, 10-Romain Ntamack, 9-Antoine Dupont (capt.), 8-Gregory Alldritt, 7-Cros, 6-Anthony Jelonch, 5-Paul Willemse, 4-Cameron Woki, 3-Uini Atonio, 2-Julien Marchand, 1-Cyril Baille. Replacements: 16-Peato Mauvaka, 17-Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18-Demba Bamba, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Thibaud Flament, 21-Dylan Cretin 22-Maxime Lucu, 23-Thomas Ramos.

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