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Vakatawa and Danty among four debutants in exciting France XV for Italy

Guy Novès hands out four debuts for France’s Six Nations opener.

Vakatawa: Fijian-born wing has shone for France's Sevens team.
Vakatawa: Fijian-born wing has shone for France's Sevens team.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

SEVENS FLYER VIRIMI Vakatawa will make his French debut in Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Italy.

New coach Guy Novès has named four first-timers in an exciting starting XV including Stade Français centre Jonathan Danty and Toulouse’s Sébastian Bezy at scrum-half.

Clermont’s Paul Jedrasiak is the only new cap in the pack, teaming up with the experienced Yoann Maestri in the second row.

Hooker Guilhem Guirado captains the side.

Kick-off at the Stade de France is at 2.25pm.

France v Italy

15. Maxime Medard
14. Hugo Bonneval
13. Gaël Fickou
12. Jonathan Danty
11. Virimi Vakatawa
10. Jules Plisson
9. Sebastian Bezy

1. Eddy Ben Arous
2. Guilhem Guirado (c)
3. Rabah Slimani
4. Paul Jedrasiak
5. Yoann Maestri
6. Wenceslas Lauret
7. Damien Chouly
8. Louis Picamoles

Replacements:

16. Camille Chat
17. Uini Atonio
18. Jefferson Poirot
19. Alexandre Flanquart
20. Yacouba Camara
21. Maxime Machenaud
22. Jean-Marc Doussain
23. Maxime Mermoz

New coach, new faces … same old story? The French perspective on the Six Nations

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Niall Kelly

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