France make seven changes for Scotland

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has named a team with seven changes to the one that lost to Wales for this weekend’s Six Nations match against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Following the 27-6 defeat to Wales on February 21, Saint-Andre brought in Maxime Mermoz, Sebastien Vahaamahina and Brice Mach with Wesley Fofana, Yannick Nyanga and Dimitri Szarzewski all injured.

In addition, Damien Chouly starts at no. 8 with Louis Picamoles dropped for sarcastically applauding Irish referee Alain Rolland when he was sin-binned against Wales.

And with Wenceslas Lauret, Jean-Marc Doussain and Hugo Bonneval dropped, there are starts for Alexandre Lapandry at openside, Maxime Machenaud at scrum-half and Maxime Medard on the wing.

Saint-Andre will hope the alterations help his side get back to the form that saw them beat England and Italy in their opening two games of this Six Nations campaign at the Stade de France.

“Some of the changes are due to injuries like those of Dimitri Szarsewski, Yannick Nyanga, Wesley Fofana. But when you leave out some of those who had been starting, it is either a punishment due to their performances or their lack of self-control,” commented the coach at a press conference.

“The performance of the players needs to be called into question and we are expecting a response so that our supporters can be proud of their team at Murrayfield.

“We can still win the tournament, which a lot of people forget.”

Saint-Andre was again highly critical of his team’s showing against Wales and underlined the importance of showing respect to the referee following Picamoles’ misdemeanour in Cardiff.

“Our sport is about combat but we must also respect the referee’s decisions, regardless of whether they are good or bad.

“We had too many crybabies (in Cardiff), too many players who spoke and made things difficult for the captain Pascal Pape.

“On Saturday, Pascal will be allowed to speak to the referee but the other 14 must work for the team and maintain their self-control.”


Brice Dulin; Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz, Maxime Medard; Jules Plisson, Maxime Machenaud; Damien Chouly, Alexandre Lapandry, Sebastien Vahaamahina; Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape (capt); Nicolas Mas, Brice Mach, Thomas Domingo

Replacements: Guilhem Guirado, Vincent Debaty, Rabah Slimani, Alexandre Flanquart, Antoine Claassen, Jean-Marc Doussain, Remi Tales, Gael Fickou

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