x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Six Nations: French to try a new mix at back row against the Irish

French coach Philippe Saint-Andre will change the back row again as he tests the half-back axis in their Six Nations game against Ireland. 'We are still in a construction phase,' he says.

France's rugby union national team head coach Philippe Saint-Andre, left, will go with left wing Maxime Medard, right, as part of the changes he is making for their match against Ireland.
France's rugby union national team head coach Philippe Saint-Andre, left, will go with left wing Maxime Medard, right, as part of the changes he is making for their match against Ireland.

Philippe Saint-Andre has shaken up the French back division with three changes for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Ireland in Dublin.

The coach has brought in the centre Florian Fritz, wing Maxime Medard and fly-half Frederic Michalak.

Michalak and Morgan Parra will become the third half-back partnership France have deployed in this year's championship.

"We are still in a construction phase and it isn't extraordinary for us to look to test the half-back axis," Saint-Andre said.

Opponents Ireland confirmed on Thursday that Paddy Jackson will start at fly-half against France.

Jackson has passed a fitness test on the minor hamstring strain sustained during training on Monday, enabling him to continue in the No 10 jersey with Ian Madigan offering cover from the bench.

Elsewhere, the Scotland captain Kelly Brown is not allowing thoughts of an unprecedented Six Nations hat-trick distract him or his teammates when they host Wales on Saturday.

Scotland have not won three successive games since 1996 when it was the Five Nations.

"It's more a case of just looking forward to the next game," the Saracens' flanker said.

 

Points table

Team P D L PD   P

England 3 3 0 0 36   6

Wales 3 2   0 1 19   4

Scotland 3 2   1   8   4

Ireland 1   0 2 -2 2

Italy 1 0 2 -36 2

France 3 0   0 3 -25  0

 

Fixtures

Saturday

Scotland v Wales

Ireland v France

Sunday

England v Italy

 

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