PARIS (Reuters) - France flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc was handed his first start in this year’s Six Nations when he was named in the team to face England in Paris on Saturday.
The Toulon player replaces Lionel Beauxis, who drops to the bench after disappointing against Scotland and Italy, in the only change made by head coach Jacques Brunel on Thursday from the team that beat Italy 34-17 in the last round of matches.
Les Bleus, who ended an eight-match winless streak against Italy, are fifth in the table on six points, three behind second-placed England. Unbeaten Ireland lead on 14 points.
“We hope that Trinh-Duc will give us this little extra to finish off our moves,” Brunel told a news conference.
“He also has a bit more experience with France than Beauxis, who played two interesting games but lacked something at the end of our attacks.”
After saying last month that France should be aiming to win the Six Nations, Brunel is now looking for an improvement from his side against England.
“England must beat us to win the tournament,” he said after Saturday’s opponents were beaten by Scotland in the previous round of matches.
“We were close against Ireland, we have to be close against England, too. It is our goal for Saturday.
“Playing against England is always something different.”
15-Hugo Bonneval, 14-Benjamin Fall, 13-Mathieu Bastareaud, 12-Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11-Remy Grosso, 10-Francois Trinh-Duc, 9-Maxime Machenaud, 8-Marco Tauleigne, 7-Yacouba Camara, 6-Wenceslas Lauret, 5-Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4-Paul Gabrillagues, 3-Rabah Slimani, 2-Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1-Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16-Adrien Pelissie, 17-Dany Priso, 18-Cedate Gomes Sa, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Kelian Galletier, 21-Baptiste Couilloud, 22-Lionel Beauxis, 23-Gael Fickou.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by John O'Brien and Toby Davis