Yachvili favoured in ‘final’ clash

Bernard Laporte has made only three changes to a France side who are yet to taste defeat in this year’s Six Nations.

Dimitri Yachvili is recalled to partner David Skrela at halfback and both present solid goal-kicking options for the French. Laporte confirmed his boot will come in handy against a team like England.

“It is an advantage to have another kicker there,” said Laporte. “To have Yachvili there was planned. He can bring a certain kind of calm to this position as well.

“Pierre [Mignoni] has played three excellent matches and the battle for that position is extremely tough – don’t forget we also have Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.

“Pierre has been scoring the points over the past month, and now Dimitri must put his hand up.”

The forward pack welcomes back No 8 Sebastian Chabal and prop Pieter de Villiers, with Elvis Vermeulen dropping out of the squad and Nicolas Mas to the bench.

A victory at Twickenham on Sunday will give the French the title for the second year running. On a lesser scale, it will take them one step closer to completing the Grand Slam with lowly Scotland as the final hurdle.

France – 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 David Marty, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Christophe Dominici, 10 David Skréla, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Sébastian Chabal, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Serge Betsen, 5 Jérôme Thion, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Pieter de Villiers, 2 Raphaël Ibañez (c), 1 Olivier Milloud.
Subs: 16 Sébastian Bruno, 17 Nicolas Mas, 18 Pascal Papé, 19 Imañol Harinordoquy, 20 Pierre Mignoni, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Cédric Heymans.