Saint-Andre makes four changes for Ireland
February 7, 2012
Imanol Harinordoquy starts at openside for France © Getty Images
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made four changes to his side ahead of Saturday's clash with Ireland at the Stade de France.
The four changes from the team which took to the pitch against the Azzurri on Saturday all occur in the pack with Imanol Harinordoquy coming in at openside for Julien Bonnaire and Yoann Maestri replacing Lionel Nallet in the second-row. In the front-row, Dimitri Szarzewski starts at hooker with Jean-Baptiste Poux getting the nod at loose-head instead of Vincent Debaty
Saint-Andre has opted to keep the backline the same after they ran in four tries against Italy with Wesley Fofana, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie and Julien Malzieu all scoring. And Saint-Andre has revealed that Harinordoquy's inclusion is with the view to bolster their resources in the lineouts.
"I wanted to bring in some freshness since maybe we worked too much last week," Saint-Andre said. "It was logical to bring Imanol in for the lineouts."
One option could have been to draft in Harinordoquy at No.8 alongside Bonnaire at openside, but following Louis Picamoles' storming performance for Les Bleus, Saint-Andre has opted to retain the Toulouse back-row. Saint-Andre said: "I thought about it but Picamoles's performance, defensively and offensively, was great. He made a lot of tackles and he managed to destroy the Italian rucks."
France team to face Ireland:
Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Julien Malzieu, Francois Trinh-Duc, Dimitri Yachvili; Jean-Baptiste Poux, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Pape, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir, Imanol Harinordoquy, Louis Picamoles
Replacements: William Servat, Vincent Debaty, Lionel Nallet, Julien Bonnaire, Morgan Parra, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Mermoz
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.