Tue 1 Dec 2020 | 11:13

Young French sent to do battle with English veterans

Young French sent to do battle with English veterans
Tue 1 Dec 2020 | 11:13
Young French sent to do battle with English veterans
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SPOTLIGHT: Lyon’s 23-year-old scrumhalf Baptiste Couilloud will lead a weakened France side out against England at Twickenham for their year-end Nations Cup decider on Sunday.

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The fresh-faced but powerfully-built Couilloud has played just four times for France and takes up the role after French clubs decided to only release top players three times for the international tournament.

France are the only team to have defeated England this year, denying the eventual Six Nations champions a Grand Slam with a 24-17 win in Paris in February.

But France coach Fabien Galthie has named arguably something less than a France 2nd XV for the encounter, with youth featuring heavily.

Following a threat of legal action by Top 14 clubs, unhappy at the lack of consultation over the revised calendar created in response to the coronavirus pandemic and fearful of the risk of injuries to key men, it was agreed that their France stars could make only three appearances during the six Tests that now constitute ‘Les Bleus’ end-of-year schedule.

That means the France team that runs out at Twickenham on Sunday will not contain a single member of the side that started this international window with a warm-up win over Wales, a week before the virus-interrupted Six Nations resumed.

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Young French sent to do battle with English veterans - england | Rugby365