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France make one change and also alter forwards/backs bench split

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Getty Images)

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France coach Fabien Galthie has named a starting XV to face Wales on Friday in Cardiff that shows just one change from their Guinness Six Nations round three win away to Scotland. However, he has reconfigured the make-up of his Principality Stadium bench by going with a five/three forwards/backs split compared to a six/two split at Murrayfield. 

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The French are on course for a first Grand Slam since 2010 following their February wins over Italy, Ireland and Scotland and having had to do without the injured Gabin Villiere for their victory in Edinburgh after he had scored three tries in the opening two rounds, they have now recalled the fit-again winger to their team.

This inclusion of Villiere on the left-wing has caused a reshuffle. Yoram Moefana, who wore the No11 jersey the last day, has now switched to the right-wing where he takes over from Damian Penaud, who has picked up covid. The remainder of the XV is unchanged despite an injury scare surrounding Antoine Dupont at training on Tuesday. 

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Le French Rugby Podcast – Episode 19
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Le French Rugby Podcast – Episode 19

On the France Six Nations bench, there is a return for Mohamed Haouas, the controversial tighthead who last month was handed a suspended sentence for his role in a spate of burglaries in 2014.

He takes over from Demba Bamba, while the exclusion of sub forward Romain Taofifenua – another player who has covid – has enabled Galthie to choose an extra back in Matthis Lebel. 

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