Jacques Brunel has made three changes to his France team for their trip to Cardiff in the final round of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations and the marquee news sees the captaincy handed to Mathieu Bastareaud.
Bastareaud missed the first two games of this year’s Championship as France slipped to defeats to both Ireland and Scotland.
🔴 Rendez-vous samedi à 18h à Cardiff pour le #XVdeFrance ! Voici les joueurs sélectionnés par Jacques Brunel et son staff pour ce dernier match du tournoi des @SixNationsRugby ! #PDGFRA #soutiensleXV pic.twitter.com/UhvN76zaZZ
— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) March 15, 2018
But his return to the starting XV has coincided with a French revival that has seen them beat both Italy and England in back-to-back rounds.
And with Guilhem Guirado injured for Super Saturday in the Championship as France head to Wales, Bastareaud’s brilliance has been rewarded with the captaincy.
Two of the three changes this weekend for France come in the front row where Adrien Pelissie comes in at hooker for Guirado while Cedate Gomes Sa replaces Rabah Slimani at tighthead prop.
And in the backline, Gael Fickou is brought onto the wing with Benjamin Fall moving to full-back and Hugo Bonneval dropping out of the matchday 23.
France team to play Cardiff on Saturday:
15. Benjamin Fall – Montpellier
14. Gael Fickou – Toulouse
13. Mathieu Bastareaud – Toulon (captain)
12. Geoffrey Doumayrou – La Rochelle
11. Remy Grosso – Clermont
10. Francois Trinh-Duc – Toulon
9. Maxime Machenaud – Racing 92
1. Jefferson Poirot – Bordeaux-Begles
2. Adrien Pelissie – Bordeaux-Begles
3. Cedate Gomes Sa – Racing 92
4. Sebastien Vahaamahina – Clermont
5. Paul Gabrillagues – Stade Francais
6. Yacouba Camara – Montpellier
7. Wenceslas Lauret – Racing 92
8. Marco Tauleigne – Bordeaux
16. Camille Chat – Racing 92
17. Dany Priso – La Rochelle
18. Rabah Slimani – Clermont
19. Bernard Le Roux – Racing 92
20. Mathieu Babillot – Castres
21. Baptiste Couilloud – Lyon
22. Lionel Beauxis – Lyon
23. Geoffrey Palis – Castres