France revamp squad with seven new players after Ireland humbling


France have called up seven new players into their squad this week as Fabien Galthie looks to pick up the pieces from a record 38-17 loss to Ireland in Marseille in the opening round of the Guinness Six Nations.

Only one call-up is enforced, with Toulon loosehead Dany Priso coming in to replace Reda Wardi, who fractured his wrist at the Stade Velodrome and is rule out for the rest of the Championship.

Toulon’s 22-year-old lock Matthias Halagahu has also been called up as France’s second-row reserves will surely be depleted this week with a likely ban for Paul Willemse, who, if he is not charged for his yellow card in Marseille, will surely be charged for his red.

There is plenty of youth in the crop of players coming into the squad, with Pau’s English-born centre Emilien Gailleton being 20, and Stade Francais fly-half Léo Barré and Bordeaux-Begles centre Nicolas Depoortere both being 21, as Galthie has started to look at France’s promising new generation of players.

Match Summary

Racing 92 prop Thomas Laclayat and Toulouse flanker Alexandre Roumat, both 26, complete the septet of players that will prepare for France’s visit to Edinburgh on Saturday to face Scotland.

“A defeat to open the Six Nations is definitely not a positive,” Galthie said after France’s loss to Ireland.

“It’s a defeat with its negative associations. We have to live with this as a squad. It’s a tough time but the tournament carries on. We still have four matches to play, with Scotland next up in eight days.”

Les Bleus will arrive at the Scottish capital at the foot of the Six Nations table, and will be up against a side that ended a 22-year wait for a win in Cardiff in round one, although they did it the hard way by almost squandering a 27-point lead.





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