Bastareaud returns for #SixNations as Willemse dropped for France v England

PARIS – Centre Mathieu Bastareaud returns as South Africa-born lock Paul Willemse is dropped to the bench in two of six changes for France’s Six Nations fixture against England on Sunday, the French Rugby Federation announced.

The experienced Bastareaud with 50 caps to his name was not included in the squad for last weekend’s loss to Wales in the competition’s opening game but is recalled for the trip to Twickenham.

La Rochelle’s Geoffrey Doumayrou joins Bastareaud in the midfield as Wesley Fofana is sidelined by injury and teenager Romain Ntamack is on the bench.

Willemse, who made his debut against Warren Gatland’s side, is replaced by 24-year-old Felix Lambey who will start his first Test match after three games as a substitute.

The other changes sees youngster Demba Bamba start at tight-head prop, flanker Yacouba Camara is in for Wenceslas Lauret and Stade Francais’ Gael Fickou is brought in on the left wing as the back-three is shuffled due to Maxime Medard’s injury problems.

Toulouse pair Thomas Ramos and Dorian Aldegheri could make their international debuts as a replacements.

6594445 - Bastareaud returns for #SixNations as Willemse dropped for France v England
France’s Mathieu Bastareaud (centre) in action during the Six Nations rugby match between France and England in Saint-Denis, in 2018. Photo: EPA/Ian Langsdon

France team for the Six Nations match against England (15-1):

Yoann Huget, Damien Penaud, Mathieu Bastareaud, Geffroy Doumayrou, Gael Fickou; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Louis Picamoles, Arthur Iturria, Yacouba Camara, Felix Lambey, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Demba Bamba, Guilhem Guirado, Jefferson Poirot

Replacements: Pierre Bourgarit, Dany Priso, Dorian Aldegheri, Paul Willemse, Gregory Alldritt, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Thomas Ramos

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

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