Lievremont rings the changes for Wales clash

France coach Marc Lievremont has made five changes for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations finale against Wales in Paris.

France coach Marc Lievremont has made five changes for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations finale against Wales in Paris.

David Marty and Damien Traille forge a new centre partnership instead of Aurelien Rougerie and Yannick Jauzion, while Brive wing Alexis Palisson is preferred to Bayonne’s Yoann Huget, Clermont Auvergne prop Thomas Domingo takes over from Sylvain Marconnet while Biarritz number eight Imanol Harinordoquy is recalled.

Rougerie, Jauzion, Huget, Marconnet and Sebastien Chabal are omitted following France’s shock 22-21 loss to Italy three days ago.

Rougerie’s absence is due to a disciplinary hearing he faces tomorrow following an incident that happened while he was playing for his club.

Palisson, a try-scorer against Wales in Cardiff last season, will start on the left wing with Vincent Clerc switching to the right flank.

Huget, meanwhile, is on the bench, where Lievremont has also named the likes of Clermont back-row forward Alexandre Lapandry, Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape and Brive back Fabrice Estebanez.

France will go into the Wales encounter striving to avoid a third defeat in this season’s Six Nations, something that has not happened to Les Bleus since 2001.

Wales have an outside chance of winning the title, but only if they beat France by around 20 points and Grand Slam-chasing England lose by a similar margin against Ireland in Dublin.

And the French players also go into battle against a backdrop of under-fire Lievremont’s withering attack made on the squad less than 24 hours after losing in Rome.

Lievremont, who is expected to retain his job for the World Cup campaign in New Zealand later this year despite Les Bleus’ poor form, accused the players of cowardice.

He said: “To put it mildly, I am disenchanted.

“Maybe I made some mistakes. I feel responsible for this, but the players are lacking courage.

“There is a certain cowardice. When I speak with them (players), nothing happens. Some of the players maybe wore the France jersey for the last time.”

France team to play Wales in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on Saturday:

M Medard (Toulouse); V Clerc (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), D Traille (Biarritz), A Palisson (Brive); F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne); T Domingo (Clermont Auvergne), W Servat (Toulouse), N Mas (Perpignan), J Pierre (Clermont Auvergne), L Nallet (Racing Metro), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), J Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz).

Replacements: G Guirado (Perpignan), L Ducalon (Castres), P Pape (Stade Francais), A Lapandry (Clermont Auvergne), J Tomas (Montpellier), F Estebanez (Brive), Y Huget (Bayonne).

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