France have made one change to their XV to face Ireland in the Six Nations finale on Saturday in Paris, the injury to Teddy Thomas forcing Fabien Galthie into a backline reshuffle.


With Thomas sidelined with a hamstring injury following last weekend’s comprehensive win over Wales in autumn warm-up match, left wing Vincent Rattez has switched to the right to fill the Thomas vacancy.

Gael Fickou, who started in midfield against the Welsh, slots into Rattez’ left wing shirt while Arthur Vincent is promoted from the bench to start at inside centre alongside Virimi Vakatawa. With Vincent promoted from the bench, Arthur Retiere comes onto the replacements.

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Ex-France full-back Scott Spedding guests on the Le French Rugby podcast

Otherwise, the France matchday 23 for the final match in the Six Nations is the same as the selection that took Wales apart in a five-try, 38-21 win in Paris that was inspired by scrum-half Antoine Dupont who scored two tries. Captain Charles Ollivon, Cyril Baille and Thomas also crossed.

The French forwards are unchanged after the cited Bernard Le Roux escaped a ban for his forearm incident with Alun Wyn Jones. The hearing decided the foul play didn’t warrant a red card, which left the lock free to continue playing.

In third place heading into their final Six Nations match against Ireland, the French are still in with a title chance as they are level on points with England and just a point behind the Irish following three wins last February.


Their attempt to win the Grand Slam came unstuck in March at Scotland where a first-half red card for tighthead Mohamed Haouas contributed to their downfall and handed Galthie his first defeat since taking charge after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

FRANCE (vs Ireland, Saturday): Anthony Bouthier; Vincent Rattez, Vrimi Vakatawa, Arthur Vincent, Gael Fickou; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Bernard Le Roux, Damien Willemsem, Francois Cros, Charles Ollivon (capt), Gregory Aldritt. Reps: Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Arthur Retiere, Thomas Ramos.

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