France take on Italy on Friday night in the Six Nations in Marseille, as Le Bleus chase their first win in this season’s tournament. Jacques Brunel has endured a tumultuous start to his reign. After an agonising loss to Ireland in the opening round, they fell to Scotland by six points in Murrayfield.
However, it was the aftermath of their trip to Edinburgh which has shaped the remainder of the campaign. Nine players were axed from the squad for inappropriate behaviour.
This has led to enforced changes in the squad ahead of the Italy showdown.
The most notable newcomer is at midfield as Mathieu Bastareaud gets his first start of the campaign. This is one of five changes from the loss to Scotland, as Hugo Bonneval, Benjamin Fall, Rémy Grosso and Paul Gabrillagues come in.
Meanwhile, Francois Trinh-Duc gets into a matchday squad for the first time this tournament, as he takes up a spot on the bench.
France team to face Italy:
Hugo Bonneval, Benjamin Fall, Mathieu Bastareaud, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Remy Grosso, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Machenaud; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Rabah Slimani, Paul Gabrillagues, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Marco Tauleigne.
Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Romain Taofifenua, Kelian Galletier, Baptiste Couilloud, Francois Trinh-Duc, Gael Fickou.
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