France ring in the changes for Cardiff challenge

by Staff Writer

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has announced six changes, one positional, in naming his side to play Wales in Cardiff on Saturday on the final day of the Six Nations tournament.

Prop David Attoub and hooker William Servat come into the front-row in a pack that is otherwise unchanged from the side that lost 24-22 to England last weekend, wrecking French hopes of defending the title they won last year.

Dimitri Yachvili gets a recall at scrum-half replacing the disappointing Julien Dupuy, while Florian Fritz is in at centre and Alexis Palisson comes back in on the wing.

Wesley Fofana, who has scored tries in each of France's four games so far in the tournament, switches to the wing to make way for Fritz.

France have no hope of winning the Six Nations title after two wins, one draw and one defeat, while their opponents will be aiming to complete the Grand Slam after four straight wins.

Saint-Andre, who took over as coach from Marc Lievremont after last year's World Cup in New Zealand, insisted that the French would not be giving up on the game at the Millennium Stadium despite the dispiriting loss to England in Paris.

"I expect them to play with pride, with conviction and unity," he said of his selection.

"It's true that we cannot win the tournament, but after all they will be playing for their country.

"And on top of that it will be a hostile environment - they will be going for the Grand Slam and will be out for revenge for the loss to us in the World Cup semi-final."

"Also it will be the last match in a France shirt for William Servat and Julien Bonnaire and I am sure the players will want to get behind them and help them go out on a winning note in Cardiff.

France XV: Clement Poitrenaud, Wesley Fofana, Aurelien Rougerie, Florian Fritz, Alexis Palisson, Lionel Beauxis, Dimitri Yachvili, Imanol Harinordoquy, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pap, David Attoub, William Servat, Jean-Baptiste Poux.

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Vincent Debaty, Julien Pierre, Louis Picamoles, Morgan Parra, Francois Trinh-Duc, Jean-Marcellin Buttin.

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