France v Italy - Six Nations match preview

Last Updated: 09/02/14 4:26pm

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France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made three changes to the side that conquered England for Sunday's clash with Italy at the Stade de France.

Les Bleus opened their Six Nations campaign with a dramatic 26-24 victory over Stuart Lancaster's team in Paris, and they will start as overwhelming favourites to make it two out of two against the Azzurri who are aiming for a historic first win in Paris.

Stade Francais winger Hugo Bonneval will make his debut on the left wing instead of Maxime Medard, who has been dropped from the squad - Bonneval's father, Eric, 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 will start on the replacements bench. The Montpellier No.10 missed last week's opener because of injury but, with Antoin Burban ruled out, is back in the fold.

Italy may never have won in Paris but will be boosted by the knowledge that they have seen off the French twice in succession in Rome.

Five new faces for Italy

Coach Jacques Brunel introduces five new faces to the starting XV that pushed Wales close before succumbing to a 23-15 in Cardiff last weekend.

Zebre's Tommaso Iannoni will replace Angelo Esposito on the right wing, earning his first Six Nations start against France in the process, while club team-mate Gonzalo Garcia returns after an eight-month absence to start in the centres in place of Alberto Sgarbi.

Biarritz lock Joshua Furno takes Marco Bortolami's place in Italy's second lineengine room, while Michele Rizzo is relegated to the bench with Benetton Treviso team-mate Alberto De Marchi taking his spot at loosehead prop.

Meanwhile, Treviso flanker Francesco Minto replaces Alessandro Zanni who fractured his nose against Wales and will be on the bench.

Azzurri captain Sergio Parisse will equal Andrea Lo Cicero as Italy's most capped player when he earns his 103rd cap this weekend.

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

Italy: 15 McLean; 14 Iannone, 13 Campagnaro, 12 Garci, 11 Sarto, 10 Allan, 9 Gori; 1 De Marchi, 2 Ghiraldini, 3 Castrogiovanni, 4 Geldenhuys, 5 Furno, 6 Bergamasco, 7 Minto, 8 Parisse
Replacements: 16 Giazzon, 17 Rizzo, 18 Cittadini, 19 Bortolami, 20 Zanni, 21 Botes, 22 Orquera, 23 Esposito

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