Romain Ntamack selected to make France debut against Wales
Jacques Brunel names 19-year-old at inside centre with Mathieu Bastareaud excluded
Romain Ntamack (R) has been named to start at 12 for France ahead of Mathieu Bastareaud (L). Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/Getty/AFP
Ntamack is the son of former France wing Emile Ntamack, who made his Test debut against Wales 25 years ago and won 46 caps.
Ntamack has been a key figure behind Toulouse’s resurgence in the Top 14 and Heineken Champions Cup this term, helping them to secure a European quarter-final appointment with Racing 92 later this season.
Brunel has announced a team that also sees a call-up for another newcomer in Montpellier lock Paul Willemse.
Elsewhere, experienced Clermont Auvergne scrum-half Morgan Parra returns to the starting XV and he is partnered at half-back by his club colleague Camille Lopez.
There are also opportunities for the likes of Toulouse full-back Maxime Medard, Bordeaux-Begles prop Jefferson Poirot and Clermont flanker Arthur Iturria in a side skippered by hooker Guilhem Guirado.
France have not won the Six Nations title since 2010, while they arrive in this season’s tournament following a disappointing autumn campaign that saw them beaten by South Africa and Fiji.
France: Maxime Medard; Damian Penaud, Wesley Fofana, Romain Ntamack, Yohann Huget; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado, Uini Atonio; Sébastien Vahaamahina, Paul Willemse, Wenceslas Lauret, Arthur Itturia, Louis Picamoles. Replacements: Julien Marchand, Dany Priso, Demba Bamba, Felix Lambey, Gregory Alldritt, Baptiste Serin, Gael Fickou, Geoffrey Doumayrou.