Frederic Michalak returns to France team for Ireland match
France name Frederic Michalak in their team to face Ireland in the Six Nations on Saturday.
Last Updated: 09/03/13 4:41pm
The inclusion of 30-year-old fly-half, in place of Francois Trinh-Duc, is one of three changes made by coach Philippe Saint-Andre from the team that lost 23-13 to England at Twickenham.
Florian Fritz returns to centre ahead of Mathieu Bastareaud, while fullback-cum-wing Maxime Medard, who has been hampered by injury problems to his knee since tearing cruciate ligaments against Scotland in last year's competition, returns on the wing in place of Benjamin Fall.
Saint-Andre revealed the Toulouse man would play on the left, working with Yoann Huget to give France more attacking options.
On the subject of Michalak, Saint-Andre said: "Frederic has not played much in the past three weeks. He found some freshness, his sensations are very good.
"If you look at the last eight games, he started six of them so, yes, he's the No 1 choice as fly-half. It's natural to start him in Ireland."
France go into the match in Dublin, rooted to the bottom of the table following three defeats - their worst start to the tournament since 1982.
They have not finished bottom of the table since 1957.
However, Les Bleus have only lost once to Ireland in their last 13 Tests, during Ireland's Grand Slam victory in 2009.
"We need to find an 80-minute performance. At the moment we aren't doing
that," added Saint-Andre. "The role of the France team is to win in style. But in our current situation, we'd sign for even a 3-0 win straightaway."
France: 15 Huget, 14 Clerc, 13 Fritz, 12 Fofana, 11 Medard, 10 Michalak, 9 Parra, 8 Picamoles, 7 Dusautoir, 6 Nyanga, 5 Maestri, 4 Samson, 3 Mas, 2 Kayser, 1 Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Guirado, 17 Debaty, 18 Ducalcon, 19 Vahaamahina, 20 Claassen, 21 Machenaud, 22 Trinh-Duc, 23 Bastareaud.