Julien Dupuy and Lionel Beauxis will start at No 9 and 10 respectively for the ‘Le Crunch’ match against England on Sunday.
Dupuy and Beauxis replace Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc. Coach Phillipe Saint-Andre believes the move will have multiple benefits for France.
‘They know each other well because they’ve played together as halfbacks at Stade Francais,’ he said. ‘It’s a strategic choice on my part. England are the team that occupy the field of play the most, especially away from home.
‘It’s also because during our first three games we struggled to really get going, and we had trouble getting out of our own half during the first 20 minutes.’
France – 15 Clement Poitrenaud; 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Julien Malzieu; 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Julien Dupuy; 8 Julien Bonnaire, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c); 5 Yohann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape; 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dmitri Szarzewski, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Subs: 16 William Servat, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Lionel Nallet, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Francois Trinh-Duc, 22 Maxime Mermoz.