France ring the changes


NZPA     16 Nov 2006     Photosport

The team will be led by one of the newcomers, veteran hooker Raphael Ibanez, replacing former skipper Fabien Pelous who was ruled out this week with a rib injury.

Pelous' place is taken at lock by Lionel Nallet, joining Castres locking partner Pascal Pape, in one of four changes to a forward pack that was overshadowed throughout the Lyon Test.

Wasps hooker Ibanez, who has played 82 Tests, starts ahead of Dimitri Szarzewski. Olivier Milloud replaces Sylvain Marconnet at loosehead prop and Remy Martin comes in for Thierry Dusautoir at flanker.

In the backline, Jean Baptiste Elissalde replaces halfback Dimitri Yachvili while Cedric Heymans replaces Christophe Dominici on the wing, lifting the number of Toulouse backs to four.

Agen fullback Pepito Elhorga, who was called into the squad this week, replaces Julien Laharrague.

Veteran flanker Serge Betsen returns to French colours on the reserve bench, alongside uncapped lock Loic Jacquet, the French under-21 captain who was called in this week as cover for Pelous.

Team: Pepito Elhorga, Aurelien Rougerie, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans, Damien Traille, Jean Baptiste Elissalde, Elvis Vermeulen, Remy Martin, Julien Bonnaire, Pascal Pape, Lionel Nallet, Pieter de Villiers, Raphael Ibanez, Olivier Milloud. Reserves: Dimitri Szarzewski, Sylvain Marconnet, Loic Jacquet, Serge Betsen, Dimitri Yachvili, David Marty, Christophe Dominici.