Six Nations: France duo not axed for criticism ahead of Scotland game - Jacques Brunel

France's Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez
Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez have been left out of the French squad
Six Nations: France v Scotland
Venue: Stade de France, Paris Date: Saturday, 23 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One; listen on BBC Radio Scotland 92-95 & 5live sports extra; TV, radio & live text coverage on the BBC Sport website & app

Under-pressure France coach Jacques Brunel says he has dropped Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez to face Scotland on merit and not for insubordination.

The Clermont duo criticised management after their 44-8 defeat by England at Twickenham and have been replaced with Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont.

Ntamack, 19, will make his first Test start at fly-half in Paris.

"Given our performance, we needed to change things - it's a sporting choice," Brunel said.

Dupont, 22, who makes his first Six Nations start at scrum-half, and Ntamack, son of former French wing Emile, have 13 caps between them, while Parra and Lopez have a combined 92.

Announcing France's team two days early on Tuesday, Brunel was asked if Parra and Lopez had been left out of his 23 as punishment for their criticism but replied: "I'm telling you it's not the case; ask them, ask their team-mates."

Racing 92's Wenceslas Lauret is back on the flank, while Toulouse's Thomas Ramos makes his first start at full-back to earn his second cap, as Brunel makes four personnel changes to his starting line-up.

Yoann Huget, also of Toulouse, returns to the wing after starting at full-back against England, with Stade Francais' Gael Fickou also back in the centres after being on the wing.

Lauret replaces Montpellier's Yacouba Camara on the open-side, while La Rochelle centre Geoffrey Doumayrou is another to drop out of the squad after starting at Twickenham.

Clermont loose-head prop Etienne Falgoux could make his debut from the bench.

France look to avoid third loss

France playmaker Romain Ntamack
Romain Ntamack will be winning his third cap at the age of 19

Les Bleus host Gregor Townsend's side on Saturday seeking to avoid a third straight defeat in this year's tournament and an 11th loss in 14 games since Brunel was appointed in December 2017.

France threw away a big lead against Wales in round one before being heavily beaten by England, a performance that has left Brunel's position under serious threat.

Scotland, who have not won in Paris in 20 years, will name their team on Thursday, with fly-half Finn Russell ruled out because of concussion.

France: Ramos; Penaud, Bastareaud, Fickou, Huget; Ntamack, Dupont; Poirot, Guirado (capt), Bamda, Vahaamahina, Lambey, Lauret, Iturria, Picamoles.

Replacements: Chat, Falgoux, Aldegheri, Willemse, Alldritt, Serin, Belleau, Medard.


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.