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Final Six Nations start for Fofana among six France changes from Ireland defeat

The Clermont centre will start as the French look to sign off on a poor campaign with victory in Rome.

France centre Wesley Fofana.
France centre Wesley Fofana.

JACQUES BRUNEL HAS handed Wesley Fofana a start in his final Six Nations appearance as one of six changes as France look to finish a disappointing campaign with victory over Italy on Saturday [KO 12.30pm, Virgin Media One].

France travel to Rome with one win from their four matches, seeking to put a 26-14 defeat to Ireland last time out swiftly behind them.

Brunel’s side sit second bottom in the table ahead of the final round but cannot be caught by Italy, who are yet to get off the mark.

Four of France’s changes come in the pack, as Etienne Falgoux replaces Jefferson Poirot in the front row, Paul Willemse is preferred at lock to Sebastien Vahaamahina, while Gregory Alldritt and Yacouba Camara come into the back row.

Maxime Medard will slot in at full-back in place of Thomas Ramos, while Brunel prefers Fofana — who announced plans in January to retire from international rugby after this year’s World Cup — at inside centre.

France go into the clash having won 17 of their 19 Six Nations matches against Italy, including a 40-17 victory on their last visit to Stadio Olimpico in 2017. 

France (v Italy):

15. Maxime Medard (Toulouse)
14. Damian Penaud (Clermont Auvergne)
13. Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon)
12. Wesley Fofana (Clermont Auvergne)
11. Yoann Huget (Toulouse)
10. Romain Ntamack (Toulouse)
9. Antoine Dupont (Toulouse)

1. Etienne Falgoux (Clermont Auvergne)
2. Guilhem Guirado (Toulon — captain)
3. Demba Bamba (Brive)
4. Felix Lambey (Lyon)
5. Paul Willemse (Montpellier)
6. Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle)
7. Yacouba Camara (Montpellier)
8. Louis Picamoles (Montpellier)

Replacements:

16. Camille Chat (Racing 92)
17. Dany Priso (La Rochelle)
18. Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse)
19. Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Francais)
20. Arthur Iturria (Clermont Auvergne)
21. Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux Bègles)
22. Camille Lopez (Clermont Auvergne)
23. Thomas Ramos (Toulouse)

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