Half-ton up for French prop
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Uini Atonio and Romain Taofifenua were named by France head coach Fabien Galthié 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)
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) March 16, 2023