Six Nations - Wounded France ring changes for Scotland game

France manager Philippe Saint-Andre has made seven changes to the team that put in a dismal display against Wales as Les Bleus seek to put their Six Nations challenge back on track when they face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Reuters
Six Nations - Wounded France ring changes for Scotland game
.

View photo

Philippe Saint-André - France italie - 9 février 2014

Saint-Andre has remained loyal to Jules Plisson at flyhalf for the fourth match in a row, pairing the Stade Français player with Maxime Machenaud and relegating Jean-Marc Doussain to the bench.

The entire third row has changed with Damien Chouly, Alexandre Lapandry and Sebastien Vahaamahina forming a combination that provides more power than pace.

"Some changes were made because of injuries," Saint-Andre told a news conference on Thursday, referring to hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, centre Wesley Fofana and flanker Yannick Nyanga.

Others were simply punished after France produced a miserable performance in a 27-6 defeat in Cardiff on Feb. 21.

"When you start one game but not the following one, it is a sanction," said Saint-Andre, who axed number eight Louis Picamoles from the squad after he sarcastically applauded the referee at the Millennium Stadium when he was sin-binned.

"If we want Pascal Pape to do his job as a captain, he needs to have 14 players around him who are focused on working on the pitch," Saint-Andre warned.

France are one of four teams level on four points after three games and beating Scotland would set up a mouth-watering finale against Ireland at the Stade de France.

"Players owe themselves a chance of revenge," Saint-Andre said.

"Let's not lie to ourselves... we were just not there against Wales. We were beaten on the essence of our sport: combat."

France team:

15-Brice Dulin, 14-Yoann Huget, 13-Mathieu Bastareaud, 12-Maxime Mermoz, 11-Maxime Medard, 10-Jules Plisson, 9-Maxime Machenaud, 8-Damien Chouly, 7-Alexandre Lapandry, 6-Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5-Yoann Maestri, 4-Pascal Pape (captain), 3-Nicolas Mas, 2-Brice Mach, 1-Thomas Domingo

Replacements: 16-Guilhem Guirado, 17-Vincent Debaty, 18-Rabah Slimani, 19-Alexandre Flanquart, 20-Antonie Claassen, 21-Jean-Marc Doussain, 22-Remi Tales, 23-Gael Fickou

View comments (0)