Parra starts for France
Teenager part of rookie half-back combination
Last Updated: 19/02/08 6:16pm
Parra: Only 19
France coach Marc Lievremont has handed teenager Morgan Parra his first start for the RBS Six Nations clash with England at Stade de France on Saturday.
Lievremont has promoted the 19-year-old scrum-half from the bench following an injury to Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, while 21-year-old fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc will complete an inexperienced half-back combination.
"Morgan has been with us for three weeks," said the coach. "He was convincing when he came on against Ireland and in training.
"He knows our calls on the set pieces and we wouldn't have done Dimitri (Yachvili) a favour if we had asked him to start the game.
"Damien Traille will assume kicking duties. We trust him. He is in form as his 50-metre penalty against Ireland showed."
Stand-off David Skrela reverts to the bench while Lievremont makes two more changes to the pack, with Toulouse lock Romain Millo-Chluski coming into the second row for his second cap and Montpellier's Louis Picamoles at number eight.
Fulgence Ouedraogo drops to the bench and Julien Bonnaire reverts to his usual position of flanker with Jean-Baptiste Poux and Dimitri Yachvili, who were called up for injured pair Julien Brugnaut and Elissalde, starting on the bench.
"We stayed true to our belief regarding the players and the style of play," Lievremont added. "We hope these young players will bring enthusiasm and cheek to the team.
"Some people will make a fuss but we assume (responsibility for) our choices. We are not taking a gamble, we are not selling off Saturday's match because, revenge or no revenge, a game against England is always a special occasion."
The two teams last played in the World Cup semi-finals last year when England clinched victory 14-9.
France: C Heymans (Toulouse); A Rougerie (Clermont-Auvergne), D Marty (Perpignan), D Traille (Biarritz), V Clerc (Toulouse); F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Parra (Bourgoin); L Faure (Sale), D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), N Mas (Perpignan), L Nallet (Castres, capt), R Millo-Chluski, T Dusautoir (both Toulouse), J Bonnaire (Clermont-Auvergne), L Picamoles (Montpellier).
Replacements: W Servat, J-B Poux (both Toulouse), P Pape (Stade Francais), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), D Yachvili (Biarritz), D Skrela (Stade Francais), A Floch (Clermont-Auvergne).