France make changes

France have made four changes in personnel to their 23-man squad for the RBS 6 Nations Championship match against England at Twickenham on Sunday week.

France have made four changes in personnel to their 23-man squad for the RBS 6 Nations Championship match against England at Twickenham on Sunday week.

Florian Fritz, Damien Traille, Jerome Thion and Julien Bonnaire are recalled to the squad, with Clement Poitrenaud, Benoit Baby, Fulgence Ouedraogo and Louis Picamoles dropping out.

Sale forward Sebastien Chabal will revert to the back row having played at lock in Les Bleus’ first three matches of the Six Nations, while Francois Trinh-Duc is the only specialist fly-half named in the group with Lionel Beauxis (back) and Baby (knee) both out injured.

Fritz is back having served his three-week suspension for punching during Les Bleus' 30-21 defeat to Ireland on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

Traille, who has returned to form with Biarritz, is the fourth centre named in the squad but he can cover both full-back and fly-half positions as well.

He last played for France when he came on as a first-half substitute in the 18-13 defeat to Australia in November.

Baby, who started at fly-half in the 21-16 victory over Wales last Friday, misses out after injuring his knee in that match.

Poitrenaud’s absence means Maxime Medard should again start at full-back, with Traille as cover.

In the forwards, Montpellier back-row duo Ouedraogo and Picamoles have been left out to make way for the return of two stalwarts of the Bernard Laporte reign, Thion and Bonnaire.

Thion, who has not played for Les Bleus since the final match of last year’s Six Nations against Wales, is drafted into the second row and will compete with Romain Millo-Chluski for a starting spot alongside captain Lionel Nallet.

Chabal moves to the back row, his regular position, although he has not played there since before the November Tests.

Bonnaire, who like Thion has not been involved with Les Bleus for almost a year, was named in France’s 30-man, pre-Six Nations training squad but was dropped for the opening three matches.

France have lost their last two matches against England, both of them coming at home – in the 2008 Six Nations and in the semi-finals of the 2007 World Cup.

Les Bleus’ superb win over Wales keeps them in the hunt for their fourth Six Nations title in six years.

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