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Half-ton up for French prop

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Uini Atonio and Romain Taofifenua were named by France head coach Fabien GalthiΓ© in the holders’ starting lineup to face Wales in the Six Nations this weekend.


Tighthead prop Atonio comes in for Dorian Aldegheri, who has a groin issue.

Lock Taofifenua replaces Paul Willemse, who sustained a hamstring injury in last Saturday’s record 53-10 win over England.

New Zealand-born Atonio, 32, will win his 50th cap at the Stade de France on Saturday as Les Bleus eye retaining their trophy with a bonus-point win if Ireland fails to claim a point against England in Dublin later in the day.

France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Bastien Chalureau, 20 Sekou Macalou, 21 Maxime Lucu, 22 Yoram Moefana, 23 Melvyn Jaminet.

Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 15.45 (14.45 UK time; 14.45 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

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