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France react to defeat by making 13 changes for Scotland rematch

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Fabien Galthie has reacted to last weekend’s second-half collapse in Scotland by naming a France team showing 13 changes to the starting XV for this Saturday’s rematch in Saint-Etienne.

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The French had led 21-3 at half-time at Murrayfield but they lost their way after that against an opposition whose motivation was only added to by the red carding of their now-suspended prop Zander Fagerson.

France fell into arrears with 16 minutes remaining and couldn’t fashion a response in a second half in which they were held scoreless. Their response has been to make wholesale changes for their second Rugby World Cup warm-up match.

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The Bunker explained in rugby

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The Bunker explained in rugby

Only two of last weekend’s starting forwards – second row Cameron Woki and the rookie blindside Paul Boudehent – have been retained in an XV that has an entirely different back line packed with stars such as Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack and the regular midfield of Jonathan Danty and Gael Fickou.

Damian Penaud and Thomas Ramos are also recalled, while there is also a rare start for Gabin Villiere, a try-scoring hero of France’s 2022 Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam. He hasn’t played since that championship due to a rotten injury streak.

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