France have named Romain Ntamack at fly-half for Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations opener against England in Paris.
Ntamack joins Antonie Dupont at half-back after edging Matthieu Jalibert for the role of the conductor in chief. Open side Charles Ollivon captains the first team named by new head coach Fabien Galthie.
France’s dangerman is outside centre Virimi Vakatawa, who has been in devastating form for Racing 92 this season.
The Montpellier pair full-back Anthony Bouthier and prop Mohamed Haouas will make their Test debuts at the Stade de France.
Eight players from the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Wales have made Galthie’s XV. They are second row Bernard Le Roux, flanker and now captain Ollivon, No8 Gregory Alldritt, half-backs Antoine Dupont and Ntamack, centres Gael Fickou and Vakatawa, and winger Damian Penaud.
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— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) January 30, 2020
FRANCE (vs England, Sunday)
15. Bouthier; 14. Thomas, 13. Vakatawa, 12. Fickou, 11. Penaud; 10. Ntamack, 9. Dupont; 1. Baille, 2. Marchand, 3. Haouas, 4. Le Roux, 5. Willemse, 6. Cros, 7. Ollivon (capt), 8. Alldritt. Reps: 16. Mauvaka, 17. Poirot, 18. Bamba, 19. Palu, 20. Woki, 21. Serin, 22. Jalibert, 23. Rattez.
WATCH: The Rugby Pod sets the scene ahead of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and reflects on yet more Saracens fallout
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