Castres star Dupont set for France debut against Italy

FRANCE HEAD COACH Guy Noves will hand out two international debuts for Saturday’s (13.30) Six Nations meeting away to Italy.

Brive back row Fabien Sanconnie will make a full Test debut on the blindside, he is one of four changes to the starting line-up from the defeat to Ireland in Dublin last time out.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Talented young Castres scrum-half Antoine Dupont is the second uncapped name in the 23. The 20-year-old, who Leinster fans may remember from his starring role in Castres’ January draw with Leo Cullen’s men, takes a place among the replacements alongside the returning Francois Trimh-Duc and Yoann Huget.

Noves’ other changes come in the second row, with Julien LeDevedec joining Yoann Maestri, and in the back three where Brice Dulin and Virimi Vakatawa slot in alongside Noa Nakaitaci.

France captain Guilhem Guirado will win his 50th cap in Rome opposite one of Conor O’Shea’s three changes from the controversial defeat in Twickenham.

Leonardo Ghiraldini starts at hooker for the Azzurri, while Angelo Esposito is named on the right wing and Carlo Canna replaces the injured Tommaso Allan at out-half for the Stadio Olimpico clash.


15. Edoardo Padovani
14. Angelo Esposito
13. Michele Campagnaro
12. Luke McLean
11. Gioanbattista Venditti
10. Carlo Canna
9. Edoardo Gori

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1. Andrea Lovotti
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini
3. Lorenzo Cittadini
4. Marco Fuser
5. Dries van Schalwyk
6. Braam Steyn
7. Simone Favaro
8. Sergio Parisse (Capt)


16. Toommas d’Apice
17. Sami Panico
18. Dario Chistolini
19. George Biagi
20. Maxime Mbanda
21. Giorgio Bronzini
22. Tommaso Benvenuti
23. Luca Sperando


15. Brice Dulin
14. Noa Nakaitaci
13. Remi Lamerat
12. Gael Fickou
11. Virimi Vakatawa
10. Camille Lopez
9. Baptiste Serin

1. Cyril Baille
2. Guilhem Guirado (Capt)
3. Rabah Slimani
4. Julien Le Devedec
5. Yoann Maestri
6. Fabien Sanconnie
7. Kevin Gourdon
8. Louis Picamoles


16. Christopher Tolofua
17. Uini Atonio
18. Eddy Ben Arous
19. Paul Jedrasiak
20. Bernard Le Roux
21. Antoine Dupont
22. Francois Trinh-Duc
23. Yoann Huget

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