Vincent Clerc will be back for France's Six Nations trip to
England on February 23, representing a double boost for Les
Bleus who can now field a recognised wing on the right flank
and move Wesley Fofana back to centre.
The inclusion of Clerc, ruled out of the first two
championship matches with a thigh injury, means Fofana can
revert to centre after starting the games against Italy and
Wales on the wing.
"We have made five changes (to the matchday squad) because it
was important to regenerate physically and mentally," France
coach Philippe Saint-Andre said in a statement on Monday.
"This is not a sanction for the players who are dropped.
Against a powerful and efficient England team we want to send
a commando unit to Twickenham."
Centre Maxime Mermoz, anonymous on Saturday when his side
lost 16-6 at the Stade de France against holders Wales, has
been omitted along with loose forwards Fulgence Ouedraogo and
Damien Chouly, prop Yannick Forestier and lock Romain
Chouly and Taofifenua started on the bench against Wales.
"Fulgence needs to have a scan on his right shoulder and we
need our players to be 100 percent," added Saint-Andre.
"It is better Fulgence gets treatment so he can be at his
best for the last two games of the championship (against
Ireland and Scotland)."
Saint-Andre called up uncapped South African-born flanker
Antonie Claassen and lock Christophe Samson who has made one
previous appearance in a 49-10 win over Argentina in June.
Claassen can play at number six or eight.
"We have been following him for 15 months," said Saint-Andre.
"He is well integrated and speaks French fluently after
playing six years in France.
"I wish him the same success his predecessors had," he added,
referring to the Moroccan-born Abdelatif Benazzi, New-Zealand
born Tony Marsh and South African-born Eric Melville and
Pieter de Villiers.
Flanker Yannick Nyanga, who missed the 23-18 defeat in Italy
at the start of the month through injury, returns and
loosehead prop Thomas Domingo is back after being dropped
from Saint-Andre's initial 33-man squad.
Forwards - Vincent Debaty, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser,
Dimitri Szarzewski, Luc Ducalcon, Nicolas Mas, Yoann Maestri,
Christophe Samson, Jocelino Suta, Antonie Claassen, Thierry
Dusautoir (captain), Yannick Nyanga, Louis Picamoles.
Backs: Maxime Machenaud, Morgan Parra, Frederic Michalak,
Francois Trinh-Duc, Mathieu Bastareaud, Vincent Clerc,
Benjamin Fall, Wesley Fofana, Florian Fritz, Yoann Huget.