'No Surprises' In Galthie's France Team For Ireland Trip
Faizan Hashmi Published February 09, 2023 | 05:20 PM
Rome, Feb 9 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Feb, 2023 ) :France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Thursday he had "no surprises" in his unchanged starting team to face Ireland in the Six Nations this weekend.
Les Bleus, the defending champions who are ranked second in the world, have made changes to their bench for Saturday's visit to the side top of the standings.
The France squad have been together since late January, having spent time in the Atlantic coast town of Capbreton before recovering from Sunday's 29-24 win over Italy in Rome this week.
"There are no surprises in the starting line-up, nor among the finishers," Galthie told reporters.
"What is behind the selection is the performance and the bonus point victory, with our objectives achieved.
"The coherence too, it's three weeks that we've worked with the starting line-up." "Also, there's the search for consistency," he added.
Toulouse flanker Francois Cros comes in for La Rochelle lock Thomas Lavault and Lyon scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud replaces Racing 92's Nolan Le Garrec after the narrow win over the Azzurri.
Cros, 28, has made 16 Test appearances since his France debut shortly before the 2019 Rugby World Cup, after which Galthie took over as coach.
"He was with us during the Grand Slam in 2022, and the successful November series before that," Galthie said.
"He has great knowledge of the team and the international level." Couilloud, 25, captained the side during the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup final.
"Baptiste Couilloud has also significant experience with us," Galthie said. "He also has potential." Cros' club team-mate, back-rower Anthony Jelonch, keeps his place despite sitting out full training on Wednesday.
"Anthony was rested," Galthie said.
"In high intensity matches, some players need a little bit more time to recover.
"It was the case for Anthony, who had a great game in Rome." The match against Ireland in Dublin takes place less than seven months out from the start of the World Cup, which France will host.
Team (15-1) Thomas Ramos; Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Yoram Moefana, Ethan Dumortier; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (capt); Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Anthony Jelonch; Paul Willemse, Thibaud Flament; Uini Atonio, Julien Marchand, Cyril BailleReplacements: Gaetan Barlot, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Romain Taofifenua, Francois Cros, Sekou Macalou, Baptiste Couilloud, Matthieu JalibertCoach: Fabien Galthie (FRA)