Sofiane Guitoune and Gael Fickou to make France debuts against Tonga

Last Updated: 14/11/13 2:49pm

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Sofiane Guitoune (L) and Gael Fickou: Will make France debuts

Sofiane Guitoune (L) and Gael Fickou: Will make France debuts

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Sofiane Guitoune and Gael Fickou have been handed their France debuts as Philippe Saint Andre made five changes to his side for Saturday's clash with Tonga.

Guitoune will replace Yoann Huget on the wing, while teenager Fickou starts at centre with Florian Fritz axed from a youthful match-day squad.

Fulgence Ouedraogo has been passed fit after ankle and shoulder problems and comes in for openside flanker Wenceslas Lauret, and second-rower Pascal Pape makes way for Sebastien Vahaamahina.

Pape drops to the bench alongside hooker Benjamin Kayser as Dimitri Szarzewski is restored to the starting line-up.

Saint Andre has also kept faith with scrum-half Morgan Parra and fly-half Remi Tales as France look to bounce back from last week's 26-19 defeat to New Zealand.

Guitoune has been in sparkling form for Perpignon this season and is currently the joint-leading try-scorer in the Top 14, and Saint-Andre believes he will make a big impact in Le Havre.

"I'm expecting him to have a great match, he is a player who just lives and breathes rugby, he's a finisher who knows where the line is, too," Saint-Andre said.

"He has the ability to find the opening and his timing is good."

France: B Dulin, S Guitoune, G Fickou, W Fofana, M Medard, R Tales, M Parra; Y Forestier, D Szarzewski, N Mas, S Vahaamahina, Y Maestri, T Dusautoir, F Quedraogo, D Chouly.

Replacements: B Kayser, V Debaty, R Slimani, P Pape, B Le Roux, J Pelissie, F Michalak, M Bastareaud.

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