Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Pool D
Parisse and Fofana miss out as Ireland's pool rivals go head-to-head
These are pretty close to the teams Ireland will expect to face a few weeks down the line.

FRANCE HEAD COACH Philippe Saint-Andre has held back only Wesley Fofana from his perceived strongest XV for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup Pool D clash with Italy (KO 8pm).

Fofana has been struggling with a thigh injury and is replaced at inside centre by Alexandre Dumoulin.

Wesley Fofana dejected Colm O'Neill / INPHO Colm O'Neill / INPHO / INPHO

Thierry Dusatoir captains Ireland’s main pool rivals from blindside flanker with Damien Chouly and Louis Picamoles completing a daunting back row.

Freddy Michalak takes the reins against the side who managed to beat France in 2011 and 2013 with fullback Scott Spedding providing an extra kicking option if a larger range is needed.

Jacques Brunel has also been able to unleash all bar one of his big guns as the Azzurri aim to get on the front foot before facing Ireland in week three.

Sergio Parisse Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Captain Sergio Parisse misses out with injury meaning Samuela Vunisa fills in at number eight flanked by Alessandro Zanni and Francesco Minto.

Ex-Scotland under 20 Tommaso Allan starts at out-half partnered by Edoardo Gori ahead of a potent three quarter line that includes Andrea Masi, Michele Campagnaro and Giovanbattista Venditti.


15. Scott Spedding
14. Yoann Huget
13. Mathieu Bastareaud
12. Alexandre Dumoulin
11. Noa Nakaitaci
10. Frederic Michalak
9. Sebastien Tillous-Borde

1. Eddy Ben Arous
2. Guilhem Guirado
3. Rabah Slimani
4. Pascal Pape
5. Yoann Maestri
6. Thierry Dusautoir (c)
7. Damien Chouly
8. Louis Picamoles


16. Benjamin Kayser
17. Vincent Debaty
18. Nicolas Mas
19. Bernard Le Roux
20. Alexandre Flanquart
21. Morgan Parra
22. Remi Tales
23. Gael Fickou


15. Luke McLean
14. Leonardo Sarto
13. Michele Campagnaro
12. Andrea Masi
11. Giovanbattista Venditti
10. Tommaso Allan
9. Edoardo Gori

1. Matias Aguero
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain)
3. Martin Castrogiovanni
4. Quintin Geldenhuys
5. Josh Furno
6. Alessandro Zanni
7. Francesco Minto
8. Samuela Vunisa


16. Andrea Manici
17. Michele Rizzo
18. Lorenzo Cittadini
19. Valerio Bernabo
20. Simone Favaro
21. Guglielmo Palazzani
22. Carlo Canna
23. Enrico Bacchin

This out-half has a mystery kicking coach who he emails video clips to

Cudmore captains Canada against Ireland as Ospreys’ Ardron misses out

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