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Six Nations: Fabien Galthie has named the France team to play Italy

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Fabien Galthie has named his France team to take on Italy in this Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations in Rome, an XV that shows five changes from the side that defeated Japan 35-17 in their final Autumn Nations Series match in November.


That victory rounded off an impeccable year for the French, who went their entire 2022 campaign unbeaten with a Six Nations Grand Slam title, a tour series success in Japan and three more wins on the bounce in the autumn.

Gathie has now declared his hand for the opening France match of the Six Nations title retention bid and the big development is the inclusion of the uncapped Ethan Dumortier, the 22-year-old Lyon player, on the left wing.

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Steve Borthwick responds to reporter on why didn’t start Manu Tuilagi
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Steve Borthwick responds to reporter on why didn’t start Manu Tuilagi

There were hopes at the start of the week that Gabin Villiere, a try-scoring star in last year’s gallop to the title, could be included as he played his first match last weekend for Toulon in quite some time. However, his ankle caused him trouble again in the following days and that paved the way for Galthie to back Dumortier for his first Test cap.

The rookie takes over the No11 jersey worn against Japan by Yoram Moefana, who now switches to inside centre to fill the vacancy left by the injury to Jonathan Danty. The other backline change sees skipper Antoine Dupont return as the starting No9. He missed the Japan match following his red card against South Africa, with the now-injured Maxime Lucu filling in on that occasion.

In the pack, Cyril Baille returns at loosehead for the bench Reda Wardi, Thibaud Flament starts at lock for the injured Cameron Woki while Paul Willemse is also in at second row with Romain Taofifenua slipping to the bench.


France (vs Italy, Sunday)
15. Ramos; 14. Penaud, 13. Fickou, 12. Moefana, 11, Dumortier; 10. Ntamack, 9. Dupont; 1, Baille, 2. Marchand, 3. Atonio, 4. Flament, 5. Willemse, 6. Jelonch, 7. Ollovon, 8. Alldritt. Reps: 16: Barlot, 17. Wardi, 18. Falatea, 19. R Taofifenua, 20. Lavault, 21. Macalou, 22. Le Gerrec, 23. Jalibert.


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