Damian Penaud to debut as Guy Noves rings France changes for second South Africa Test
Last Updated: 15/06/17 3:11pm
France coach Guy Noves has made eight changes to the starting team for the second Test against South Africa in Durban on Saturday, with young centre Damian Penaud debuting.
Penaud, 20, is rewarded for excellent performances during the closing stages of the domestic season with Top 14 champions Clermont, and replaces Henry Chavancy in the matchday XV.
There is a new half-back partnership, as Francois Trinh-Duc and Baptiste Serin start in place of Jules Plisson and Maxime Machenaud respectively, who began the 37-14 first Test loss last Saturday in Pretoria.
Tighthead prop Rabah Slimani, hooker and captain Guilhem Guirado, second row Romain Taofifenua, flanker Kevin Gourdon and full-back Scott Spedding all also return.
"We are expecting him to live this adventure and become aware of the international level," Noves said bout Penaud, the son of former international Alain.
"He's a young player. We have the feeling, as with others, that he has talent. Now he must express it.
"Obviously, our severity with him will be a little less than with players who have been in the national set-up for some time," added the coach.
A couple of experienced forwards, No 8 Louis Picamoles and lock Yoann Maestri, keep their place after starting at Loftus Versfeld stadium last weekend.
Trinh-Duc returns in place of Plisson for the first time since breaking a forearm against Samoa last November in a 52-8 French triumph.
Like Trinh-Duc, Spedding, rested last Saturday after playing in the French Top 14 final the previous weekend, gets a start, ahead of Brice Dulin.
Slimani is restored after a back injury sustained during preparations for the three-Test tour, which finishes on June 24 in Johannesburg.
France: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Baptiste Serin; 1 Jefferson Poirot, 2 Guilhem Guirado (capt), 3 Rabah Slimani, 4 Yoann Maestri, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 6 Yacouba Camara, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 8 Louis Picamoles.
Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Julien le Devedec, 20 Bernard le Roux, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Nans Ducuing.