France make two changes for Ireland clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wing Damian Penaud and flank Anthony Jelonch were on Friday both named in the starting France XV that takes on Ireland in the Six Nations in Dublin.
Clermont’s Penaud comes in for Teddy Thomas, who falls to the bench for Sunday’s clash, while Castres loose forward Jelonch replaces Dylan Cretin, also named among the substitutes.
The rest of the walk-on side is unchanged from the one that hammered Italy 50-10 in their opening Six Nations match last week.
Charles Ollivon skippers the team from the back row alongside Jelonch and Gregory Alldritt, while the South Africa-born duo of Bernard Le Roux and Paul Willemse pair up in the second row.
Mohamed Haouas and Cyril Baille prop down again either side of Julien Marchand, Hassane Kolingar and New Zealand-born Uini Atonio named as front-row replacements along with Pierre Bougarit.
Antoine Dupont and Matthieu Jalibert are the halfbacks with Gael Fickou and Arthur Vincent again pairing up in midfield. Penaud, Gabin Villiere and fullback Brice Dulin form the back three.
France have not won in Dublin since a 26-22 victory in 2011 in a warm-up match ahead of that year’s Rugby World Cup, in New Zealand. Their last Six Nations victory in the Irish capital was a 25-22 win in February 2011.
France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Arthur Vincent, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (captain), 6 Anthony Jelonch, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Anthony Bouthier, 23 Teddy Thomas.
Date: Sunday, February 14
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT; 16.00 France time)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)