France make changes for Wales Six Nations game

20th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

MARCOUSSIS, Essonne, Feb 20, 2007 (AFP) - Coach Bernard Laporte on Tuesday made five changes to his starting line-up in naming the side to play Wales in the Six Nations tournament at the Stade de France on Saturday.

MARCOUSSIS, Essonne, Feb 20, 2007 (AFP) - Coach Bernard Laporte on Tuesday made five changes to his starting line-up in naming the side to play Wales in the Six Nations tournament at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Laporte made no changes to the back divison that played in the last-minute 20-17 win over Ireland in Dublin, but he brought new blood into the pack as he continued his policy of rotating players ahead of the World Cup.

In the front row, Olivier Milloud of Bourgoin and Nicolas Mas of Perpignan take over as props replacing Sylvain Marconnet and Pieter de Villiers.

Jerome Thion of Biarritz returns to the second row in place of Pascal Pape while in the back row, Julien Bonnaire of Bourgoin takes over from Imanol Harinordoquy at number eight and on the flanks, Elvis Vermeulen of Clermont comes in for the injured Sebastien Chabal.

France have already defeated Italy and Ireland while Wales have lost to Ireland and Scotland.

Laporte had also been expected to give experienced Biarritz scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili a run-out in place of Pierre Mignoni who played against both Italy and Ireland and to bring in Aurelien Rougerie on the wing in place of Christophe Dominici, but he decided otherwise.

"Yachvili was the most difficult decision to take," admitted Laporte. "We spoke at length about making the change. But Pierre has turned in two good games and it would have been unfair to leave him out."

As for retaining Dominici, Laporte said that the veteran Stade Francais winger had great leadership qualities that had to be exploited.

France team manager Jo Maso, meanwhile confirmed that lock and skipper Fabien Pelous would miss the entire Six Nations campaign as he has yet to fully recover from an ankle injury he picked up playing for Toulouse against Llanelli last December.

"Fabien still has our full confidence and we will be counting on him for the World Cup. We just hope he can get back into action soon with Toulouse so we can see how he is doing."

The French team to play Wales:-Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse); Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), David Marty (Perpignan), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Christophe Dominici (Stade Français); David Skrela (Stade Français), Pierre Mignoni (Clermont); Julien Bonnaire (Bourgoin), Elvis Vermeulen (Clermont), Serge Betsen (Biarritz); Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Lionel Nallet (Castres); Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Raphael Ibanez (Wasps/ENG, capt), Olivier Milloud (Bourgoin)

Replacements: Benoit August (Biarritz), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Français), Gregory Lamboley (Toulouse), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Dmitri Yachvili (Biarritz), Lionel Beauxis (Stade Français), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont)

Copuright AFP

SUbject: French news

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