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France unchanged for Scotland in Six Nations


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Article Published: Tuesday 21 February 2012


France have named an unchanged team for their Six Nations match against Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday this weekend.

The selection had been due to play the Irish on February 11, but the game was called off in controversial circumstances minutes before the kick off due to the dangers to players posed by a frozen pitch at the Stade de France.

That game was subsequently rescheduled for March 4, which will leave the French and Irish playing on three consecutive weekends.

"Scotland are a team that knows how to go out and play, how to string together phases of over four minutes long," coach Philippe Saint-Andre said.

"Tactically it is going to be a huge test for us, especially on the physical level."

The only fitness doubt had concerned hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, who had a bruised knee, but he was deemed fit enough to play. Toulouse lock Yann Maestri will start for France for the first time, in harness with Pascal Pape of Stade Francais.

Toulouse flanker Thierry Dusautoir, who led France to the World Cup final in New Zealand in October, retains the captaincy, with veteran trio William Servat, Lionel Nallet and Julien Bonnaire all poised for action from the bench.

France won their opener against Italy 30-12 at the Stade de France, revenging the shock loss of last year in Rome, but they failed to fully impress in Saint-Andre's first match in charge and have been kicking their heels since then.

"We were happy with the win over Italy, although we would have liked to have played better," Saint-Andre said.

"Some of the players cramped up early on and we were struggling physically in the last five minutes

"At the end of the match against Wales, the Scots had possession for for more than four mintues and 20 seconds and we know that against Italy we struggled to hold on to the ball for more than one minute 30 seconds."

"Coaching is going to be very, very important."

France (15-1)

Maxime Medard (Toulouse); Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Julien Malzieu (Clermont); Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz); Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt); Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Franšais); Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Dimitry Szarzewski (Stade Franšais), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse)

Replacements: William Servat (Toulouse), Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Lionel Nallet (Racing-Metro), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Lionel Beauxis (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan)

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