Tuesday 24 October 2017

Bench role for Bastareaud

Mathieu Bastareaud
Mathieu Bastareaud

Mathieu Bastareaud will be on the bench when France continue their bid for an RBS 6 Nations grand slam against Italy on Sunday.

The powerful Stade Francais centre has impressed in the tournament to date and scored two tries in his side's opening win over Scotland, but has been replaced by Perpignan's David Marty in one of two changes by coach Marc Lievremont for the Stade de France clash.

The other sees Castres' Marc Andreu replace Julien Malzieu of Clermont Auvergne on the right wing, while a third change on the bench sees Biarritz half-back Dimitri Yachvili replace the injured Frederic Michalak.

Marty, 27, has scored five tries in his 13 Six Nations outings to date, though four of those appearances have come from the bench - including in all three of this season's games.

He has scored two tries in the domestic Top 14 this season and will now have the opportunity to make an impact for his country from the outset.

Andreu, more usually a left wing, won his maiden cap as a last-minute replacement for Clement Poitrenaud during the thrilling win over Wales two weeks ago.

France held off a stirring home fightback at the Millennium Stadium to triumph 26-20 on that occasion, adding to the momentum of wins over Scotland and Ireland.

They will be expected to win comfortably this week despite Italy's battling displays this year, which would leave them to bid for the slam against England next Saturday in Paris.

Press Association

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