France coach springs selection suprise for Wales clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: France coach Jacques Brunel has unveiled his team for Friday’s Six Nations opener against Wales in Paris.
The 19-year-old Ntamack, who was part of France’s Under-20s World Cup-winning side, wins his first cap alongside Wesley Fofana in the midfield.
Ntamack, the son of former Les Bleus wing Emile, has become a regular for Toulouse this year and is the youngest player in any Six Nations squad this year.
South African-born Paul Willemse, who qualifies for his adopted country on residency grounds after spending more than three years with Top 14 clubs Montpellier and Grenoble, is also included.
La Rochelle’s Grégory Alldritt is named on the bench and could be the third debutant for Les Bleus in the encounter.
France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Wesley Fofana, 12 Romain Ntamack, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis PIcamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Gael Fickou, 23 Geoffrey Doumayrou.
Date: Friday, February 1
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 21.00 (20.00 UK & Ireland time; 20.00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) January 30, 2019
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