France name five debutants, make 13 changes for Italy clash


  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 26 Nov 2020

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Scotland v France - BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Britain - March 8, 2020 France head coach Fabien Galthie inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

PARIS (Reuters) - France coach Fabien Galthie has named five debutants in a much-changed XV for their Autumn Nations Cup clash with Italy on Saturday.

With a number of players unavailable for selection due to an agreement between the Federation and the TOP14, meaning players were only available for three fixtures during this series of internationals, Galthie has made 13 changes from the side that beat Scotland last weekend.

Fly half Matthieu Jalibert and winger Teddy Thomas are the only players who retain their place in the XV, while first caps have been handed to prop Rodrigue Neti, second rowers Killian Geraci and Baptiste Pesenti, centre Jean-Pascal Barraque and winger Gabin Villiere as Les Bleus look to win their fifth international in a row.

France scored a 35-22 victory the last time they faced Italy in the Six Nations back in February, before the COVID-19 enforced shutdown.

Team: 15-Brice Dulin, 14-Teddy Thomas, 13-Jean-Pascal Barraque, 12-Jonathan Danty, 11-Gabin Villiere, 10-Matthieu Jalibert, 9-Baptiste Serin (captain) , 8-Anthony Jelonch, 7-Sekou Malacou, 6-Cameron Woki, 5-Baptiste Peseti, 4-Killian Geraci, 3-Dorian Aldegheri, 2-Peato Mauvaka, 1-Rodrigue Neti

Replacements: Teddy Baubigny, Hassane Kolingar, Uini Atonio, Cyril Cazeaux, Swan Rebbadj, Baptiste Couilloud, Louis Carbonel, Yoram Moefana

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; editing by David Evans)

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