Six Nations: France change three for Italy clash, including debut for Hugo Bonneval

Last Updated: 07/02/14 3:45pm

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Phillipe Saint-Andre: Three changes for Italy clash

Phillipe Saint-Andre: Three changes for Italy clash

Sky Bet

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made three changes to his team for Sunday's match with Italy.

The French opened their Six Nations with a dramatic 26-24 victory over England in Paris, and they will be hot favourites to make it two out of two against the Azzurri.

Stade Francais winger Hugo Bonneval will make his debut on the left wing instead of Maxime Medard, who is dropped from the squad. Bonneval's father, Eric Bonneval, played 18 times for France in the same position.

The other two changes see hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, who helped create France's dramatic late try for Gael Fickou against England, start in place of Benjamin Kayser, and Yoann Maestri come in for Alexandre Flanquart at lock.

Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc is back and takes a place on the bench.

Trinh-Duc missed last week's opener because of injury but with Antoin Burban ruled out he can return.

Italy have never won in Paris, but have seen off the French twice in succession in Rome.

Forward thinking

Veteran France prop Mas told Le Figaro that the battle of the packs will be crucial: "The scrum is one area where they come together extremely well.

"They have a pack that knows their roles perfectly. And they are very good players, including (Martin) Castrogiovanni and (Leonardo) Ghiraldini.

"They must work this area a lot, they love it, they excel in this, and their coach likes it too.

"I have bad memories from last year of course; it was bad. I had not been sparkling. Against the Italians it is always complicated.

"It would be pretentious to fall into the trap, to get ahead of ourselves. We must remain humble: we only imposed ourselves with three minutes to go against England."

Mas knows Italy boss Brunel well having played for him at Perpignan between 2007 and 2011.

"Jacques coached me for quite some time and I know his way by heart, but now he is doing great things with Italy."

France: 15 Dulin, 14 Huget, 13 Bastareaud, 12 Fofana, 11 Bonneval, 10 Plisson, 9 Doussain, 1 Domingo, 2 Szarzewski, 3 Mas, 4 Maestri, 5 Nyanga, 6 Nyanga, 7 Le Roux, 8 Picamoles

Replacements: 16 Kayser, 17 Forestier, 18 Slimani, 19 Vahaamahina, 20 Chouly, 21 Machenaud, 22 Trinh-Duc, 23 Fickou

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