Michalak starts for France against Argentina

France have named Sharks fly half Frederic Michalak to make his first start in almost five years in the team that will play Argentina on Saturday.


French boss Philippe Saint-Andre made six changes to the side that lost 23-20 to Argentina in Cordoba last weekend, with Michalak slated to start his first game since his France’s 34-10 defeat to the Pumas in the third-place game at the 2007 World Cup.


Saint-Andre also handed an international debut to Agen scrum-half Maxime Machenaud, meaning that Francois Trinh-Duc and Morgan Parra will start on the bench.


“We wanted to see Fred (Michalak) and Maxime (Machenaud) for what they showed over the last fortnight,” explained Saint-Andre.


Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz replaces Wesley Fofana and will start alongside Florian Fritz, while Racing Metro’s Benjamin Fall takes the places of Jean-Marcellin Buttin on the wing.


Flanker Alexandre Lapandry and prop Vincent Debaty also come in for Wenceslas Lauret and the injured Yvan Watremez.


France team


Brice Dulin (Agen); Benjamin Fall (Racing-Metro), Florian Fritz (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), Yoann Huget (Bayonne); Frederic Michalak (Sharks/RSA), Maxime Machenaud (Agen); Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Picamoles (Toulouse), Alexandre Lapandry (Clermont); Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais, capt); David Attoub (Stade Francais), Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Francais), Vincent Debaty (Clermont)


Replacements: Christopher Tolofua (Toulouse), Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Christophe Samson (Toulon), Wenceslas Lauret (Biarritz), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Wesley Fofana (Clermont)

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