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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018

10 changes for France as Saint-André reacts to first Test hiding

Les Bleus have recalled Thierry Dusautoir as captain ahead of their second clash with the Wallabies.

Mathieu Bastareaud is back for France at 13.
Mathieu Bastareaud is back for France at 13.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

FRANCE COACH PHILIPPE Saint-André has made 10 changes to his starting team for the second Test of a three-match series against Australia, with Thierry Dusautoir back as captain.

Les Bleus face the Wallabies in Melbourne on Saturday [KO 11.00am Irish time], a week after they conceded seven tries in a 50-23 hiding at the hands of Ewen McKenzie’s clinical team.

There is a new halfback pairing with Morgan Parra and Rémi Talès replacing Maxime Machenaud and Frédéric Michalak, while the powerful Mathieu Bastareaud comes in at 13 in place of Gaël Fickou.

Racing Métro man Brice Dulin takes over from Hugo Bonneval at fullback, while Maxime Médard is selected ahead of Félix le Bourhis on the left wing.

Perhaps most importantly, Toulouse’s Dusautoir returns in the back row and resumes his role as captain. The 32-year-old’s inspirational work rate and tackling have been greatly missed by France in recent times.

Toulon loosehead prop Alexandre Menini makes his debut in the front row, while Rabah Slimani takes over from Nicolas Mas at tighthead. Clermont’s Sébastien Vahaamahina drops out of the match-day squad, with his place in the second row going to Alexandre Flanquart of Stade Français.

Finally, Yannick Nyanga comes into the back row instead of Montpellier captain Fulgence Ouedraogo. This team is far closer to full-strength than the one France fielded last weekend, and Saint-André will stress the need for a strong performance after the feeble effort in the first Test.

France (v Australia): Brice Dulin; Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Médard; Rémi Talès, Morgan Parra; Alexandre Menini, Guilhem Guirado, Rabah Slimani; Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri; Yannick Nyanga, Thierry Dusautoir (capt.), Damien Chouly.

Remplaçants: Brice Mach, Thomas Domingo, Nicolas Mas, Bernard le Roux, Louis Picamoles, Antoine Burban, Frédéric Michalak, Rémi Lamerat.

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Murray Kinsella

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