France boss puts his trust in newcomers

MARC LIEVREMONT insists he has total faith in France’s new breed after opting to blood four uncapped players in his starting side for Sunday’s RBS Six Nations Championship clash with Scotland.

Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc, winger Julien Malzieu and props Lionel Faure and Julien Brugnaut will make their Les Bleus debuts this weekend.

Flanker Fulgence Ouedraogo and lock Loic Jacquet, who have just three caps between them, also start.

Only six players in Lievremont’s line-up featured at last year’s World Cup, and the team have an inexperienced look about them as they look to defend a title they have claimed the last two years.

Lievremont is confident, however, the newcomers have what it takes to make a smooth transition onto the international scene.

“They are not here just to have walk-on parts,” said the former Dax coach, who will have two other uncapped players, 19-year-old scrum-half Morgan Parra and lock Arnaud Mela, on the bench.

“We want to see them. Some start, some don’t. The main thing that concerns us is the homogeneity and the blending between the old guys and the new ones.

“We have full confidence in them. We are delighted because you would have thought these kids would be a bit timid, but they have done a lot. There is a great atmosphere on and off the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Scotland coach Frank Hadden expects Chris Paterson to play a key role in Sunday’s clash.

Paterson was the shock omission from the starting XV when the team was announced yesterday.

A lack of game time since the 29-year-old joined Gloucester persuaded Hadden he could better serve the cause as an impact player.

“There were a number of factors we considered, and game time was one of them,” said Hadden. “We’ve named him as reserve stand-off which is where he is currently playing, and we see him having a big impact on the game on Sunday.

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