Wed, Aug 15, 2007 - Page 19 News List

France makes six changes to team

AFP , MARCOUSSIS, FRANCEAFP, EDINBURGH, SCOTLANDAFP, WELLINGTON

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France coach Bernard Laporte yesterday announced six changes in his 22-strong squad to take on England in Marseille on Saturday in the second of two World Cup buildup games.

Four of the changes were in the pack and the other two among the backs.

Sale hooker Sebastien Bruno takes over from Dimitri Szarzewski of Stade Frangais at hooker, while lock Sebastien Chabal, who picked up a slight calf injury in the 21-15 French win at Twickenham on Saturday is replaced by Lionel Nallet of Castres.

In the back row Imanol Harinordoquy of Biarritz and Thierry Dusautoir of Toulouse return to the squad in place of Serge Betsen and Remy Martin.

In the backs, veteran winger Christophe Dominici of Stade Francais comes in for Vincent Clerc of Toulouse while Yannick Jauzion of Toulouse, who missed the England game due to a back injury returns at center in place of David Marty.

French team manager Jo Maso also announced that a decision on whether or not first choice prop Sylvain Marconnet will remain in the 30-strong World Cup squad will be taken on Thursday.

The Stade Francais strongman has been struggling with an injury to his left ankle and Mas has been called in on standby should he be forced to withdraw.

* France team:

Forwards: Sebastien Bruno (Sale/ENG), Raphael Ibanez (Wasps/ENG, capt), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Olivier Milloud (Bourgoin), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse), Jerome Nallet (Castres), Fabien Pelous (Toulouse), Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse).

Backs: Jean-Baptiste Elissalde (Toulouse), Pierre Mignoni (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Natal Sharks/RSA), David Skrela (Stade Frangais), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Damien Traille (Biarritz), Christophe Dominici (Stade Frangais), Cedric Heymans (Toulouse), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont), Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse).

Scotland chooses Barclay

John Barclay was the surprise inclusion when Scotland coach Frank Hadden named his World Cup squad yesterday.

The 20-year-old openside flanker has yet to play a Test but could now find himself making his international debut when Scotland begin their Pool C campaign against minnows Portugal in St Etienne, south-east France, next month.

Scotland's 30-man squad, captained by Sale back-row Jason White, features 20 players who are appearing in their first World Cup.

But the British and Irish Lions duo of lock Scott Murray and outside-half Chris Paterson will be competing for the William Webb Ellis trophy for the third time.

"I have selected a squad that has the ability to do something special at the World Cup and make our country proud," Hadden said. "It is the most competitive squad we could muster."

Scotland's World Cup hopes received a timely boost last weekend when they beat Ireland 31-21 at Murrayfield and Hadden added: "Overall this is a more mature group than we could have chosen two years ago. There's a fair amount of experience there and a good balance between the power that was demonstrated in our win against Ireland last weekend and a bit of footballing ability."

Barclay was still at school when the last World Cup took place in Australia four years ago.

"I was injured at the time and I remember watching a Scotland game at my friend's house when I was meant to be watching the school team play," he said.

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