Six Nations 2013: France pick Bastareaud & Suta v Wales

SIX NATIONS: FRANCE V WALES

  • Venue: Stade de France, Paris
  • Date: Saturday, 9 February
  • Kick-off: 17:00 GMT

Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC One HD, Red Button and online; listen on BBC Radio Wales, BBC 5 live & online and BBC Radio Cymru; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; watch again on BBC iPlayer; highlights on Sunday's Scrum V & BBC Two 2315 on Sun

France have made two changes to the team beaten by Italy for Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales in Paris.

Powerful centre Mathieu Bastareaud, 24, replaces Florian Fritz and will make his first international start in almost three years.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre said: "It's strategic. We wanted a 10-12-13 liaison between players from the same club. Florian will play [at some point]."

Lock Jocelin Suta takes the place of injured captain Pascal Pape.

Flanker Thierry Dusautoir will resume the captaincy in Pape's absence.

Bastareaud, who has won 10 caps for France, has been rewarded for his impressive performances with Toulon, who lead the French Top 14.

Saint-Andre resisted the temptation to make too many changes despite the surprise 23-18 loss to Italy on the opening weekend, with Frederic Michalak and Maxime Machenaud remaining at half-back.

"You say you don't change a winning team," said the coach. "Well, we say we don't change a losing team. The players need to bounce back.

"We keep this group so we can find collective solutions, not individual solutions."

France team: Y Huget (Toulouse); W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), M Bastareaud (Toulon), M Mermoz (Toulon), B Fall (Racing Metro); F Michalak (Toulon), M Machenaud (Racing Metro); Y Forestier (Castres), D Szarzewski (Racing Metro), N Mas (Perpignan), J Suta (Toulon), Y Maestri (Toulouse), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), L Picamoles (Toulouse).

Replacements: B Kayser (Clermont Auvergne), V Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), L Ducalcon (Castres), R Taofifenua (Perpignan), D Chouly (Clermont Auvergne), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), F Fritz (Toulouse).