independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Saint-Andre brings in Medard and Vahaamahina for Ireland clash

Philippe Saint-Andre

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made two changes to his squad for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations fixture against Ireland, as Les Bleus battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

Saturday's 23-13 defeat to England at Twickenham followed reverses against Italy and Wales, but Saint-Andre has opted against wholesale changes, instead opting to tweak his 23-man selection.

Toulouse wing Maxime Medard comes in at the expense of Racing Metro counterpart Benjamin Fall, while Perpignan lock Sebastien Vahaamahina is in for Toulon's Jocelino Suta.

Medard, 26, has not played for France since last year's Six Nations, while Vahaamahina has just one cap to his name, which came against Australia in November.

Saint-Andre said: "We have made these changes on the basis of our performance against England.

"We worked much better as a team at Twickenham and we need to build on those improvements.

"When you have a lot of players who are learning the high level of the international game, this continuity is important."

France squad to face Ireland in Dublin

Forwards: V Debaty (Clermont), T Domingo (Clermont), B Kayser (Clermont), D Szarzewski (Racing Metro), L Ducalcon (Racing Metro), N Mas (Perpignan), Y Maestri (Toulouse), C Samson (Castres), Y Nyanga (Toulouse), T Dusautoir (captain, Toulouse), A Claassen (Castres), L Picamoles (Toulon), S Vahaamahina (Perpignan).

Backs: V Clerc (Toulouse), F Fritz (Toulouse), Y Huget (Toulouse), M Medard (Toulouse), W Fofana (Clermont), M Parra (Clermont), M Machenaud (Racing Metro), M Bastareaud (Toulon), F Michalak (Toulon), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier).

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