Eight changes for injury-hit France

Scott Spedding will start at fullback for France against Italy in Rome on Sunday.

France coach Philippe Saint-André has been forced to make some bold selections, with backs Morgan Parra, Rémi Lamerat, Wesley Fofana and Sofiane Guitoune all nursing injuries. They are replaced by scrumhalf Sébastian Tillous-Borde, centres Gaël Fickou and Maxime Mermoz and debutant wing Noa Nakaitaci.

In the only other change to the backline, Spedding comes straight back into the run-on XV ahead of Brice Dublin, who misses out on selection altogether.

Among the forwards, Loann Goujon will start at the back of the scrum, Alexandre Flanquart comes into the second row, while Nicolas Mas returns at tighthead prop to complete the pack. 

Saint-André has also recalled halfbacks Rory Kockott and Jules Plisson, to provide cover from the bench.

France – 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Sébastian Tillous-Borde, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Subs: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Vincent Debaty, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams