Thursday 24 August 2017

French move Traille to centre stage

France coach Marc Lievremont has made only one change to his team to face Ireland in the Six Nations on Sunday.

A shoulder injury to Maxime Mermoz sees Damien Traille (right) switch from full-back to centre, with Clement Poitrenaud promoted from the bench to fill the void, but otherwise Lievremont wanted to retain the side that saw off Scotland 34-21 on Saturday.

"We go with stability," he said.

Centre Yannick Jauzion has been added to the squad on the bench, although he did miss training today with a shoulder complaint of his own.

"Damien is better physically and mentally than he was in November," Lievremont said. "I liked his performance at the back. He can play in many positions."

It will be Traille's third different position in as many games, having played at No 10 in the 59-16 defeat to Australia in November and No 15 last weekend.

Meanwhile, James Hook will start at out-half for Wales in Saturday's clash against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Hook moves from full-back, where he started in the 26-19 loss to England last week, and wears Wales' No 10 shirt for the first time since the 2009 Six Nations campaign.

He replaces 96 times-capped Stephen Jones, who drops to the bench after playing a limited part in training this week after taking a bump to his neck during the England game.

"James has a real opportunity to show what a quality player he is," said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

"There is a certain amount of risk involved as he has not started a game at out-half this season, but the decision was made easier considering Stephen has been limited in what he can do."

Lee Byrne reclaims the full-back berth and former captain Ryan Jones takes over from the injured Andy Powell at No 8.

France (v Ireland) -- C Poitrenaud; Y Huget, A Rougerie, D Traille, M Medard; F Trinh-Duc, M Parra; T Domingo, W Servat, N Mas, J Pierre, L Nallet, T Dusautoir (c), J Bonnaire, I Harinordoquy. Reps: G Guirado, S Marconnet, J Thion, S Chabal, D Yachvili, Y Jauzion, V Clerc.

WALES (v Scotland) -- L Byrne; M Stoddart, J Roberts, J Davies, S Williams; J Hook, M Phillips; P James, M Rees (capt), C Mitchell, B Davies, A-W Jones, D Lydiate, S Warburton, R Jones. Reps: R Hibbard, J Yapp, J Thomas, J Turnbull, T Knoyle, S Jones, R Priestland.

Irish Independent

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