Saint-Andre switches five for Wales
March 15, 2012
Florian Fritz has been recalled to the France midfield © Getty Images
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made five changes and one positional switch for Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales in Cardiff.
Saint-Andre has recalled Toulouse's Florian Fritz to his midfield - where he partners Aurelien Rougerie - in order to combat Wales' heavyweight centre pairing, with Wesley Fofana shunted to the wing after four tries in his first four Test starts.
Scrum-half Julien Dupuy was axed from the squad earlier this week and Dimitri Yachvili starts in Cardiff, with Morgan Parra again among the replacements. Lionel Beauxis retains the No.10 jersey.
Perpignan tight-head Nicolas Mas loses out to Stade Francais' David Attoub, who is now playing again after serving a 70-week ban for eye-gouging Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris during a Heineken Cup clash between Stade and Ulster.
At hooker, William Servat is recalled in place of Dimitri Szarzewski, while Toulon's Alexis Palisson starts on the wing due to an injury to Toulouse flyer Vincent Clerc.
Servat and flanker Julien Bonnaire will bid farewell to international rugby following the game and Saint-Andre is keen to send them off in style.
"It's true that Julien Bonnaire and William Servat will play their final international matches and they will start," he said.
"There will be an added emotion in the changing rooms and I know the start of the game will be very intense. We will need them."
France cannot win the title, but they will prevent Wales from landing their third Grand Slam in eight seasons if they triumph this weekend. Les Bleus have only failed once from six previous Cardiff visits in the Six Nations - a 29-12 defeat four years ago when Wales clinched a clean sweep - but lost to England last weekend, to compound an earlier draw with Ireland.
France: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse); W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), F Fritz (Toulouse), A Palisson (Toulon); L Beauxis (Stade Francais), D Yachvili (Biarritz); J-B Poux (Toulouse), W Servat (Toulouse), D Attoub (Stade Francais), P Pape (Stade Francais), Y Maestri (Toulouse), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), J Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
Replacements: D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), V Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), J Pierre (Clermont Auvergne), L Picamoles (Toulouse), M Parra (Clermont), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), J-M Buttin (Clermont Auvergne)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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