Mathieu Bastareaud among six changes to France side to face England
Last Updated: 08/02/19 11:01am
Mathieu Bastareaud is one of six changes to the France side for Sunday's Six Nations game against England at Twickenham.
The Toulon powerhouse was left out of the 23-man squad entirely which lost 24-19 to Wales on the opening weekend, when 19-year-old Romain Ntamack and Wesley Fofana started in the centre.
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But France will field a new-look centre partnership against England with La Rochelle's Geoffrey Doumayrou named at inside centre, partnering Bastareaud, who will wear No 13, while Ntamack drops to the bench and Fofana is left out of the squad altogether after picking up a thigh strain last weekend.
France head coach Jacques Brunel admits the presence of Manu Tuilagi in England's midfield factored into his thinking in recalling Bastareaud.
Brunel said: "I explained last week the tenure of Romain Ntamack and Wesley Fofana, noting that Mathieu Bastareaud remained an important option for us and that he was important in our system and our team.
"Today, it seems appropriate for us to do it because it seems to us to be an important option against England.
"The option of Mathieu, we know the impact it can have, and against the power of the English in the middle of the field, with Manu Tuilagi, it can have an interesting impact."
Yoann Huget moves from wing to full-back to replace Maxime Medard, while Gael Fickou, who was a substitute against Wales, takes Huget's place on the left wing.
Scrum-half Morgan Parra and fly-half Camille Lopez will start together again, while Antoine Dupont will take Baptiste Serin's place on the bench.
France make one change in the front row, with Demba Bamba coming in for Uini Atonio at loosehead prop.
Felix Lambey, who was a substitute against Wales, comes into the side in the second row in place of Paul Willemse, who drops to the bench.
There is one change in the back row with Yacouba Camara replacing Wenceslas Lauret at blindside flanker.
France: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra; 1 Jefferson Poirot, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 3 Demba Bamba; 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5 Felix Lambey; 6 Yacouba Camara, 7 Arthur Iturria, 8 Louis Picamoles.
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Romain Ntamack, 23 Thomas Ramos.