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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 16:28 GMT
France pick three more debutants
Yann David
Teenager David will start at centre
France have named three uncapped players in a much-changed starting XV for Sunday's Six Nations game against Italy at the Stade de France.

Centre Yann David, prop Fabien Barcella and flanker Ibrahim Diarra will make their Test debuts, while centre Yannick Jauzion returns after injury.

Italy have made four changes but will keep Andrea Masi at fly-half.

Marco Bortolami returns at lock, while Alessandro Zanni replaces the suspended flanker Mauro Bergamasco.

The other changes made by Nick Mallett are winger Kaine Robertson coming back in for Alberto Sgarbi on the wing and prop Andrea Lo Cicero replacing Salvatore Perugini.

Bergamasco has been banned for 13 weeks for eye-gouging Wales full-back Lee Byrne in his side's 47-8 defeat last month, although the Italian apologised over the incident.

"We made lots of mistakes against Wales. They put us under lots of pressure but we've looked at the videos to be able to play better and the players are anxious to make up for what happened," said Mallett.

Meanwhile, France coach Marc Lievremont has persisted with his policy of chopping and changing, with only six players from the starting XV that lost to England retained.


Aurelien Rougerie, Francois Trinh-Duc, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas Mas, captain Lionel Nallet and Louis Picamoles keep their places but it is all change elsewhere.

Full-back Anthony Floch will make his first start, having come on in the 24-13 defeat by England, while the uncapped hooker Guillem Guirado and scrum-half Julien Tomas are included among the replacements.

Vincent Clerc, Damien Traille and Julien Bonnaire drop to the bench, while Cedric Heymans, David Marty, Morgan Parra, Thierry Dusautoir and Lionel Faure are omitted altogether.

Jerome Thion, despite suffering from a buttock strain, steps in to replace injured lock Pascal Pape and scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili and flanker Fulgence Ouedraogo are promoted to the starting XV.

David Skrela and William Servat also drop out of the match-day 22.

"We are making a turnover but keeping the balance in the team," said Lievremont, who has already blooded seven new caps in France's first three matches of the tournament.

"We want to win against Italy but win in a good manner at the same time."

Despite the defeat by England in their last match, France can still clinch their fourth Six Nations title in five years if they win their final two matches, with a trip to championship-chasing Wales scheduled for the final day.

France: Anthony Floch, Aurelien Rougerie, Yannick Jauzion, Yann David, Julien Malzieu, Francois Trinh-Duc, Dimitri Yachvili; Fabien Barcella, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas Mas, Lionel Nallet (capt), Jerome Thion, Ibrahim Diarra, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: Guilhem Guirado, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Arnaud Mela, Julien Bonnaire, Julien Tomas, Damien Traille, Vincent Clerc.

Italy: Andrea Marcato, Kaine Robertson, Gonzalo Canale, Mirco Bergamasco, Ezio Galon; Andrea Masi, Simon Picone; Andrea Lo Cicero, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Martin Castrogiovanni, Carlo Del Fava, Marco Bortolami, Josh Sole, Alessandro Zanni, Sergio Parisse (capt).
Replacements: Fabio Ongaro, Carlos Nieto, Salvatore Perugini, Jacobus Erasmus, Pietro Travagli, Enrico Patrizio, lberto Sgarbi.

Wales 47-8 Italy
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
France 13-24 England
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union


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