Lievremont opts to change winning team
PA Sport
February 6, 2008

France have made six personnel changes to their team for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations Championship clash against Ireland in Paris.

Winger Vincent Clerc, who scored two tries in the 27-6 win over Scotland on Sunday, and fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc are dropped to the bench in the backs.

Aurelien Rougerie and David Skrela come in as their replacements, with Rougerie slotting in on the left wing and Julien Malzieu switching to the right flank.

In the forwards, hooker William Servat, prop Julien Brugnaut and lock Loic Jacquet leave the side, while number eight Elvis Vermeulen has been ruled out of the tournament with a broken rib.

Montpellier's Louis Picamoles has replaced Vermeulen and is on the bench for this weekend, while Dimitri Szarzewski, Arnaud Mela and Julien Bonnaire come into the pack.

Scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde is included in the starting line-up, even though he came off after an hour against Scotland nursing a knock to his left ankle.

"There are many changes which are a reward for the spirit the replacements showed before and during the match against Scotland," Lievremont was reported saying.

"It seems logical to us to see everybody, to give everybody a chance while keeping the team balanced."

On the surprise omission of Clerc, he added, "Vincent was exceptional against Scotland. We took this decision because of the way Aurelien performed in training. Vincent will be disappointed but this not a sanction against him."

France team to play Ireland in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations Championship match in Paris:

C Heymans (Toulouse); A Rougerie (Clermont-Auvergne), D Marty (Perpignan), D Traille (Biarritz), J Malzieu (Clermont-Auvergne); D Skrela (Stade Francais), J-B Elissalde (Toulouse); N Mas (Perpignan), D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), L Faure (Sale), A Mela (Albi), L Nallet (Castres), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), J Bonnaire (Clermont-Auvergne)

Replacements: W Servat (Toulouse), J Brugnaut (Dax), L Jacquet (Clermont-Auvergne), L Picamoles (Montpellier), M Parra (Bourgoin), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), V Clerc (Toulouse).

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