France put faith in Serin for England clash

Updated: 

Baptiste Serin has been preferred to Maxime Machenaud in France's starting line-up to face England in the Six Nations on Saturday and Gael Fickou also comes into the side.

Bordeaux Begles scrum-half Serin, 22, will make only his third start for Les Bleus against the defending champions, with the experienced Machenaud named among the replacements along with the versatile Jean-Marc Doussain.

Serin will be expected to get injury-hit France ticking at Twickenham along with Camille Lopez, who starts at fly-half.

There is no place in the squad for Mathieu Bastareaud after head coach Guy Noves went with the flair of Fickou as a replacement for Wesley Fofana, who will play no part in the tournament after rupturing his Achilles.

Uncapped Clermont Auvergne lock Arthur Iturria is set to make his debut from the bench.

 

France team: Scott Spedding, Noa Nakaitaci, Gael Fickou, Remi Lamerat, Virimi Vakatawa, Camille Lopez, Baptiste Serin; Cyril Baille, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Uini Atonio, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Yoann Maestri, Damien Chouly, Kevin Gourdon, Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: Clement Maynadier, Xavier Chiocci, Rabah Slimani, Arthur Iturria, Loann Goujon, Maxime Machenaud, Yoann Huget, Jean-Marc Doussain.