x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

France recall Fickou to help spoil Ireland Six Nations hopes

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre is bringing on 19-year-old centre Gael Fickou for their Six Nations match against Ireland that could determine whether the Irish claim the crown.

Gael Fickou, left, with Mathieu Bastareaud, right, at a France training session on Thursday. Lionel Bonaventure / AFP / March 13, 2014
Gael Fickou, left, with Mathieu Bastareaud, right, at a France training session on Thursday. Lionel Bonaventure / AFP / March 13, 2014

French coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Thursday called back teenager Gael Fickou as one of four team changes for the last chance Six Nations clash with Ireland.

The 19-year-old Toulouse centre scored the dramatic late try that beat England and Saint Andre will need his aggressive talent in the battle for a victory on Saturday while the Six Nations crown is still mathematically open.

Fickou is considered one of the most dangerous players of his generation, but he has generally been used as a replacement by Saint Andre.

“He is in form, he is fast,” said Saint Andre. “We need to see his talent on show from the start.”

Fickou will team up with Mathieu Bastareaud in the charge for points after France managed only a close 19-17 victory over Scotland last weekend.

Saint Andre has also brought back Remi Tales, 29, in place of Jules Plisson to reinforce France’s defence.

Dimitri Szarzewski comes back as hooker in place of Brice Mach and Louis Picamoles also returns after he was dropped against Scotland for an indifferent display against Wales.

Ireland, England and France are level on points but Ireland and England have a far superior points scored record.

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