France team announced
Head Coach Fabien Galthie today named the France team to face Scotland at BT Murrayfield Stadium in the Autumn Nations Cup this Sunday (kick-off 3.15pm) – live on Amazon Prime Video.
Galthie explained his side differs little to that which was due to play Fiji in their ANC opener but ultimately never had the chance to take field, after tournament organisers cancelled the match following several positive Covid-19 cases in the Fijian squad – a week before it was confirmed Scotland’s Test against the Pacific Islanders (scheduled for 29 November) would suffer the same fate.
This Sunday’s fixture is therefore France's first chance at some action this month - following the delayed conclusion of the Six Nations Championship in October - and do so without star stand-off Romain Ntamack, with Bordeaux’s Matthieu Jalibert starting in the role.
Thomas Ramos starts at full-back and will take on kicking duties to focus - according to Galthie - primarily on his offensive and defensive roles.
Wing Teddy Thomas returns to the side after missing the Ireland finale of the Six Nations, meaning Gaël Fickou is picked at centre.
There are five changes in the pack: Jean-Baptiste Gros, Camille Chat and Demba Bamba form a new front-row, while Romain Taofifenua replaces Paul Willemse in the second-row and Dylan Cretin steps in for the injured Francois Cros on the blindside.
Lyon fly-half Louis Carbonel (21) could make his debut if called upon from the bench.
“What makes us happy in our team, our group, there are emerging players,”Galthié said. “Players who inspire both inside and outside the group.
“We are very happy with that and Antoine Dupont is one of them. We understand that the consequence of the result is recognition.
"This comforts us in our desire to become a great nation of world rugby again.”
France team to face Scotland
15. Thomas Ramos (Toulouse)
14. Teddy Thomas (Racing 92)
13. Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92)
12. Gaël Fickou (Stade Francais)
11. Vincent Rattez (Montpellier)
10. Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux Bègles)
9. Antoine Dupont (Toulouse)
1. Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon)
2. Camille Chat (Racing 92)
3. Demba Bamba (Lyon)
4. Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92)
5. Romain Taofifenua (Toulon)
6. Dylan Cretin (Lyon)
7. Charles Ollivon CAPTAIN (Toulon)
8. Grégory Alldritt (La Rochelle)
16. Julien Marchand (Toulouse)
17. Cyril Baille (Toulouse)
18. Mohamed Haouas (Montpellier)
19. Paul Willemse (Montpellier)
20. Cameron Woki (Bordeaux Bègles)
21. Baptiste Couilloud (Lyon)
22. Louis Carbonel (Toulon)
23. Arthur Vincent (Montpellier)