France make one change for Ireland in Six nations

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has named a team to play Ireland in the Six Nations in Dublin with one change to the side that beat Scotland in Paris last week.

Saint-Andre has called up twenty-four-year-old prop Eddy Ben Arous to replace injured Alexandre Menini for this weekend.

Racing-Metro’s Ben Arous made his international debut for France against New Zealand in June 2013 when he came off the replacements bench.

Ben Arous’s promotion into the starting line up opens the way for 24 cap Vincent Debaty to come on to the bench.

Ireland are the current Six Nations champions and will be at their home ground Lansdowne Road so they will start as strong favourites.

Saint-Andre opted not to reshuffle his team, heavily criticised in the French media over the quality of their play in the victory over Scotland.

Scrum-half Morgan Parra will consider himself unlucky not to be starting given his impressive cameo performance when he came on for South Africa-born Rory Kockott last weekend.

Kockott again pairs up with Castres teammate Camille Lopez, Saint-Andre saying: “Rory also did some interesting things in his first start and he deserves to carry on with Camille for this match.”

Another South African, Scott Spedding, also keeps his place at full-back, Saint-Andre resisting the urge to rush Brice Dulin back from a biceps injury.

“At fullback Brice is making progress but he is not there yet in terms of tackling and passing the ball,” the coach said, predicting a tough game in Dublin.

“It is important for us to win an away match against a major team, but to do that we have to be more effective than we were against Scotland,” Saint-Andre said.

“Ireland are an extremely disciplined side. They usually give away only around eight penalties whereas the Scots give up 13-14.

“They are full of confidence and showed that when they seized the game by the scruff of the neck against the Italians once they were down to 14 men.

“They have won eight in a row and are the favourites for the title. We have to compete with them in every area, duels in the air where they are very strong, tackle hard and not give an inch.”

Saint-Andre played down theh fact the two teams will meet in pool play in the World Cup.

“No it is only psychological as to what happens for the rest of the Six Nations, the World Cup is another tournament,” he said of Saturday’s match.

“The players are confident in themselves and up for the match which we hope we will produce a great performance. The last three matches with the Irish have been very tight – two draws and a defeat by two points, so expect another tight one.”


Scott Spedding, Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Wesley Fofana, Teddy Thomas, Camille Lopez, Rory Kockott, Bernard Le Roux, Damien Chouly, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Pascal Pape, Yoann Maestri, Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado, Eddy Ben Arous

Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Uini Atonio, Vincent Debaty, Romain Taofifenua, Loann Goujon, Morgan Parra, Remi Tales, Remi Lamerat

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