France make three changes to starting XV for Aviva visit

Prop Rabah Slimani, flanker Bernard Le Roux and wing Yoann Huget come in

There are three changes to the French team to play Ireland on Saturday. Photograph: Reuters

There are three changes to the French team to play Ireland on Saturday. Photograph: Reuters

 

France have made three changes to their starting line-up for the RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, the French Rugby Federation has announced.

Prop Rabah Slimani, flanker Bernard Le Roux and wing Yoann Huget come in for Uini Atonio, Loann Goujon and Virimi Vakatawa respectively.

New Zealand-born wing Vakatawa has a thigh injury while Atonio makes way for Slimani, who scored a try against England in the narrow defeat at Twickenham.

Backrow forward Goujon has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament following a clash of heads in the match against Scotland.

The 27-year-old La Rochelle flanker fractured a bone in his sinuses which ruled him out for at least a month.

Racing 92 centre Henry Chavancy is called up to the bench along with flanker Charles Ollivon, prop Eddy Ben Arous and wing Djibril Camara, but there is no place for juggernaut centre Mathieu Bastareaud, who misses the Ireland match after suffering a concussion.

FRANCE: Scott Spedding; Yoann Huget, Remi Lamerat, Gael Fickou, Noa Nakaitaci; Camille Lopez, Baptiste Serin; Curil Baille, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina; Yoann Maestri; Bernard Le Roux, Kevin Gourdon, Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: Christopher Tolofua, Uini Atonio, Eddy Ben Arous, Julien Le Devedec, Charles Ollivon, Maxime Machenaud, Henry Chavancy, Djibril Camara.

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