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France recall quartet for Grand Slam decider

Madoussou Fall scores for France versus Italy (Photo by Christian Liewig/Corbis via Getty Images)

France coaches Gaelle Mignot and David Ortiz have made four changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations 2024 Grand Slam decider against England in Bordeaux.


Second row Madoussou Fall and flanker Gaelle Hermet come into the pack while winger Marine Menager and centre Nassira Konde have been recalled to the backline following Les Bleues’ 40-0 defeat of Wales in Cardiff last Sunday.

It means the team that finishes the Championship shows only one change to the XV that opened it with a 38-17 win against Ireland in Le Mans. Joanna Grisez, who scored two tries at Cardiff Arms Park, is the only player in the line-up who did not start the defeat of Ireland; Kelly Arbey is the one who has dropped out.

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The rest of the starting XV is unchanged from the first game: the same Bordeaux front row is back for the fifth match in a row, as is the second row of captain Manae Feleu and Fall.

Womens Six Nations
France Women's
21 - 42
England Women's
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In the back row, Hermet is selected to start for the first time since the second round and lines up alongside Charlotte Escudero and Romane Menager. Pauline Bourdon-Sansus and Lina Queyroi are again paired in the half-backs. Marine Menager is back on the wing after being ruled out of the Wales match.

The only surprises are on the bench with Elisa Riffonneau, who plays in England, returning for her 10th cap alongside Ambre Mwayembe. There is also renewed confidence in sevens players Chloe Jacquet and Anne-Cecile Ciofani, who is in line to make her second Test appearance.

France (vs England, Saturday)
1. Annaëlle Deshayes (28 years old, 47 caps)
2. Agathe Sochat (28, 51 caps)
3. Assia Khalfaoui (23, 22 caps)
4. Manaé Feleu – captain (24 years old, 16 caps)
5. Madoussou Fall (26, 29 caps)
6. Charlotte Escudero (23, 19 caps)
7. Gaëlle Hermet (27, 62 caps)
8. Romane Ménager (27, 61 caps)
9. Pauline Bourdon-Sansus (28, 56 caps)
10. Lina Queyroi (22, 13 caps)
11. Marine Ménager – vice-captain (27 years old, 47 caps)
12. Gabrielle Vernier (26 years old, 44 caps)
13. Nassira Konde (24, 10 caps)
14. Joanna Grisez (27, 6 caps)
15. Emilie Boulard (24, 30 caps)


16. Elisa Riffonneau (20 years old, 9 caps)
17. Ambre Mwayembe (20, 9 caps)
18. Clara Joyeux (26, 44 caps)
19. Teani Feleu (21, 2 caps)
20. Emeline Gros (28, 32 caps)
21. Alexandra Chambon (23, 21 caps)
22. Anne-Cécile Ciofani (30, 1 cap)
23. Chloé Jacquet (22, 17 caps)

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Flankly 13 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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