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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 08:32 GMT
France change three for England
Sebastien Chabal
Chabal missed the game with Wales because of a leg injury
France coach Bernard Laporte has made three changes to the team that beat Wales for the Six Nations contest with England at Twickenham on Sunday.

Sale number eight Sebastien Chabal and Stade Francais prop Pieter de Villiers return in the pack while Dimitri Yachvili is back at scrum-half.

Nicolas Mas and Pierre Mignoni both drop to the bench while Elvis Vermeulen fails to make the 22.

Hooker Sebastien Bruno and wing Cedric Heymans also come onto the bench.

"This is going to be the hardest match of the year, at least of the Six Nations," said Laporte. "That is clear in our heads.

"There are new players and changes in this England team. They are certainly better than those from before who didn't win.

"They must perform now. They will be looking for revenge, with players who are going to want to impose themselves six months ahead of the World Cup."

BBC Sport's James Standley

Yachvili, relegated to the bench for the wins over Italy, Ireland and Wales, has been the scourge of England in the Six Nations for the last three years.

The Biarritz number nine kicked France to victory in 2004 and 2005 while last year he scored 16 points to help his side thump England 31-6 in Paris.

He will share the kicking duties with fly-half David Skrela, who starts his fourth straight game.

"Pierre had three good games but Dimitri is a fine player, an 'elephant keeper', a real guide for the forwards," Maso added. "He has often been the man of the match against England."

And Yachvili added: "I am happy to have been named in the side. "I have been a replacement for the first three games but I am making my return in a big match.

"I have played well against England in the past three years, but so has the France team and that is the most important thing.

"We hope to do it again, but we have to respect the English team and we know it will be difficult on Sunday."

Chabal played in the wins over Italy and Ireland but missed the game Wales game with a leg injury.

Vermeulen had a solid game in his place and scored a try for the French Barbarians in their 28-14 defeat by Argentina last weekend.

"Sebastien plays club rugby in England," said Laporte. "He had problems at international level but he proved against Italy and Ireland that he had made a lot of progress.

"This selection is the result of his efforts. We'll need his power against England."

Mas takes the place of Sylvain Marconnet, who suffered a double fracture of his tibia while on a skiing holiday.

France: Clement Poitrenaud; Vincent Clerc (both Toulouse), David Marty (Perpignan), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Christophe Dominici; David Skrela (both Stade Francais), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz); Olivier Milloud (Bourgoin), Raphael Ibanez (Wasps, capt), Pieter de Villiers (Stade Francais), Lionel Nallet (Castres), Jerome Thion, Serge Betsen (both Biarritz), Julien Bonnaire (Bourgoin), Sebastien Chabal (Sale).
Replacements: Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Sebastien Bruno (Sale), Pascal Pape (Castres), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Pierre Mignoni (Clermont-Auvergne), Lionel Beauxis (Stade Francais), Cedric Heymans (Toulouse).

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