Guy Noves makes four changes for France’s clash with Italy

Fullback Scott Spedding among those dropped after third round defeat to Ireland

Guy Noves has made four changes to his France side for their Six Nations clash with Italy. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Guy Noves has made four changes to his France side for their Six Nations clash with Italy. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

 

Fullback Brice Dulin will start for France against Italy in the Six Nations as manager Guy Noves makes four changes to his team for Saturday’s game at the Stadio Olimpico.

Dulin replaces Scott Spedding, who was disappointing in Les Bleus’ 19-9 defeat in Ireland in their previous match.

Blindside flanker Fabien Sanconnie, 22, will make his first start, with Noves hoping that “he will give everything in terms of fighting.”

“He is tall, he will be very important in the lineouts,” he added.

Virimi Vakatawa is back in the wing in place of utility back Yoann Huget, who will start on the bench.

Second rower Julien Le Devedec will start instead of Sebastien Vahaamahina, who has been ruled out with a back injury.

“Maybe he will be able to play the next game against Wales,” said Noves.

Flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc is on the bench, making his comeback after a three-month injury layoff.

France: Brice Dulin, Noa Nakaitaci, Rami Lamerat, Gail Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa, Camille Lopez, Baptiste Serin, Louis Picamoles, Kevin Gourdon, Fabien Sanconnie, Yoann Maestri, Julien Le Devedec, Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado, Cyril Baille. Replacements: Christopher Tolofua, Uini Atonio, Eddy Ben Arous, Paul Jedrasiak, Bernard Le Roux, Antoine Dupont, Francois Trinh-Duc, Yoann Huget.

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