Marc Lievremont confirms France will revert to their attacking strengths when they host England at Stade de France this Saturday.
Lievremont has made some brave selections since succeeding Bernard Laporte, and for this particular fixture he has entrusted three youngsters with the 8,9 and 10 positions. Louis Picamoles starts for the first time at No 8 while Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc will begin at halfback.
“We stayed true to our belief,” Lievremont said. “We hope that these young players will bring enthusiasm and cheek to the team.”
England coach Brian Ashton said he was in no way intimidated by the French approach.
“I have always been a massive admirer of French rugby,” he told a news conference. “I am delighted to see them playing the type of rugby they are playing at the moment.”
France – Heymans (Toulouse); Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), Marty (Perpignan), Traille (Biarritz), Clerc (Toulouse); Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Parra (Bourgoin); Faure (Sale), Szarzewski (Stade Francais), Mas (Perpignan), Nallet (Castres, capt), Pape (Stade Francais), Bonnaire (Clermont-Auvergne), Dusautoir (Toulouse), Picamoles (Montpellier).
Subs: Servat (Toulouse), J-B Poux (Toulouse), Thion (Biarritz), Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Yachvili (Biarritz), Skrela (Stade Francais), Floch (Clermont Auvergne).
England - Balshaw (Gloucester); Sackey (Wasps), Noon (Newcastle), Flood (Newcastle), Vainikolo (Gloucester); Wilkinson (Newcastle), Wigglesworth (Sale); Sheridan (Sale Sharks), Regan (Bristol), Vickery (Wasps, capt), Shaw (Wasps), Borthwick (Bath), Haskell (Wasps), Lipman (Bath), Easter (Harlequins).
Subs: Mears (Bath), Stevens (Bath), Kay (Leicester), Croft (Leicester), Hodgson (London Irish), Cipriani (Wasps), Tait (Newcastle).