Six Nations: Ethan Dumortier handed France debut for Italy encounter
Talented Lyon youngster Ethan Dumortier will make his international bow after being named in the France XV to face Italy in Rome on Sunday.
Dumortier, 22, has shone for his club side over the past two seasons and has been rewarded with a start for the clash at the Stadio Olimpico.
Gabin Villiere was pencilled in to start after returning from injury in Toulon’s victory over Pau last weekend, but he aggravated his ankle issue in training.
It means that Dumortier joins regulars Thomas Ramos and Damian Penaud in a strong back three.
Replacement for Jonathan Danty
Yoram Moefana had been taking Villiere’s slot on the left wing but Jonathan Danty’s injury means that he moves to his favoured position at centre.
Les Bleus are otherwise unchanged in the backline with Gael Fickou partnering Moefana in the midfield, while Romain Ntamack and captain Antoine Dupont are once again at half-back.
Up front, Cameron Woki is injured and out of the Six Nations but that has been offset slightly by the return of Paul Willemse, who missed the Autumn Nations Series.
There is therefore plenty of continuity in the pack as Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon and Anthony Jelonch combine in the back-row.
Thibaud Flament is alongside Willemse at lock, with Uini Atonio, Julien Marchand and Cyril Baille making up the front-row for the Italy clash.
On the bench, regular squad members Peato Mauvaka and Maxime Lucu are injured, which means Gaetan Barlot is back in the 23 while 20-year-old Racing 92 scrum-half Nolann Le Garrec is in line for his debut.
France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Yoram Moefana, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (c), 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Anthony Jelonch, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Gaetan Barlot, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Thomas Lavault, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Nolann Le Garrec, 23 Matthieu Jalibert
Date: Sunday, February 5
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 16:00 local (15:00 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
READ MORE: Six Nations key stars: Antoine Dupont the linchpin in this majestic France side
The article Six Nations: Ethan Dumortier handed France debut for Italy encounter appeared first on Planetrugby.com.