Laporte adjusts French team for England clash

9th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

MARCOUSSIS, France, Feb 9 (AFP) - France coach Bernard Laporte selected his 24th different halfback partnership in 61 Tests here on Wednesday for Sunday's Six Nations clash with world champions England.

MARCOUSSIS, France, Feb 9 (AFP) - France coach Bernard Laporte selected his 24th different halfback partnership in 61 Tests here on Wednesday for Sunday's Six Nations clash with world champions England.

The 40-year-old opted for Dimitri Yachvili at scrum-half in place of Pierre Mignoni, unimpressive in the 16-9 victory over Scotland last Saturday, to partner Yann Delaigue.

Yachvili was one of five changes.

Delaigue missed most of his goalkicks in an uninspired return to the international fold, but Laporte preferred to stick with the 31-year-old instead of Frederic Michalak, who received the loudest cheers when he was brought on against the Scots.

Two of the five changes were down to injuries - winger Jimmy Marlu wins his fourth cap for Aurelien Rougerie and Nicolas Mas garners his second cap at prop instead of Pieter de Villiers.

Star flanker Serge Betsen returns after injury but may be out of the side by the end of the day should he be suspended by the European Rugby Cup disciplinary Commission after being cited for breaking Stuart Abbott's leg in last month's Biarritz-Wasps tie.

The final change sees hooker William Servat dropped to the bench and replaced by Sebastien Bruno, who is the second Sale player to make the startng line-up as giant No 8 Sebastien Chabal retains his place.

France (15-1) Pepito Elhorga (Agen); Christophe Dominici (Stade Francais), Brian Liebenberg (Stade Francais), Damien Traille (Biarritz), Jimmy Marlu (Biarritz); Yann Delaigue (Castres), Dimtri Yachvili (Biarritz); Sebastien Chabal (Sale/ENG), Julien Bonnaire (Bourgoin), Serge Betsen (Biarritz); Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Fabien Pelous (Stade Toulousain, capt); Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Sebastien Bruno (Sale/ENG), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Francais) Replacements: William Servat (Stade Toulousain), Olivier Milloud (Bourgoin), Gregory Lamboley (Stade Toulousain), Yannick Nyanga (Beziers), Pierre Mignoni (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Stade Toulousain), Jean-Philippe Grandclaude (Perpignan).

© AFP

Subject: French News

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