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Philippe Saint-Andre picks strong French side to take on Italy

BY Stephen Brunsdon  ·  Thursday Sep 17, 2015

Philippe Saint-André has recalled first choice half-backs Frédéric Michalak and Sébastien Tillous-Borde to his starting XV to face Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.

It is as close to a first string side as Saint-André will hope to field as he also welcomes back the powerful Mathieu Bastareaud with the inexperienced Alexandre Dumoulin – who has come in for the injured Wesley Fofana (thigh) – partnering him in the centre.

After an impressive display in their final World Cup warm-up match against Scotland, the back three remain unchanged with full back Scott Spedding joined by wingers Noa Naikataci and Yoann Huget.

Eddy Ben Arous comes in at prop while Damien Chouly moves to blindside flanker as Louis Picamoles takes his customary Number 8 spot.

France team to face Italy at Twickenham this Saturday (kick-off 20:00 BST):

Backs: Scott Spedding, Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Alexandre Dumoulin, Noa Naikataci, Frédéric Michalak, Sjbastien Tillous-Borde.
Forwards: Eddy Ben Arous, Guilhem Guirado, Rabah Slimani, Pascal Papé, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir, Damien Chouly, Louis Picamoles.
Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Vincent Debaty, NIcolas Mas, Bernard Le Roux, Alexandre Flanquart, Morgan Parra, Rémi Talès, Gaël Fickou.



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