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France to unleash teen sensation against Ireland

By Peter Thompson
France head coach Jacques Brunel

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Teenage fly-half Matthieu Jalibert and Geoffrey Palis will make their France debuts in the Six Nations opener against Ireland on Saturday.

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Bordeaux Begles’ Jalibert will continue his rapid rise at Stade de France, starting alongside Maxime Machenaud in Jacques Brunel’s first match in charge of Les Bleus.

Palis also makes his international bow at full-back in Paris, while Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa and Marco Tauleigne could make their debuts off the bench.

Captain Guilhem Guirado will be joined by props Jefferson Poirot and Rabah Slimani in an experienced front row on the first day of the tournament.

Henry Chavancy and Remi Lamerat will form the centre pairing, while Racing 92 duo Virimi Vakatawa and Teddy Thomas get the nod on the wings.

 

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France XV: Geoffrey Palis, Teddy Thomas, Remi Lamerat, Henry Chavancy, Virimi Vakatawa, Matthieu Jalibert, Maxime Machenaud; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Arthur Iturria, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Kevin Gourdon.

Replacements: Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Marco Tauleigne, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall.

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