/ Six Nations 2014

Thierry Dusautoir for France against Italy in Rome

Updated: Friday, 01 Feb 2013 11:31 | Comments

Thierry Dusautoir returns after a serious knee injury
Thierry Dusautoir returns after a serious knee injury

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Former captain Thierry Dusautoir will make his return to the France starting line-up for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy in Rome.

The Toulouse flanker missed the autumn campaign after suffering a serious knee injury, but is selected in the back row as he replaces Yannick Nyanga.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre had announced lock Pascal Pape would retain the captaincy, after doing an outstanding job in November, despite having 2011 IRB Player of the Year Dusautoir back at full fitness.

France team to play Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday, 3 February: Y Huget (Toulouse), W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), F Fritz (Toulouse), M Mermoz (Toulon), B Fall (Racing Metro), F Michalak (Toulon), M Machenaud (Racing Metro); Y Forestier (Castres), D Szarzewski (Racing Metro), N Mas (Perpignan); P Pape (Stade Francais, captain), Y Maestri (Toulouse), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), L Picamoles (Toulouse).

Dusautoir's return is one of six changes from the side that beat Samoa.

Injury to Bruce Dulin sees Yoann Huget step into the full-back jersey, with Benjamin Fall starting on the wing in the absence of Vincent Clerc.

Maxime Machenaud edges out Morgan Parra for the scrum-half jersey while loosehead prop Yannick Forestier and hooker Dimitri Szarzewski come in for Thomas Domingo and Benjamin Kayser in the front row.

Frederic Michalak retains the fly-half jersey despite playing his club rugby for Toulon at scrum-half.

Florian Fritz and Maxime Mermoz make up the centre combination, with Mathieu Bastareaud on the bench.

Les Bleus will be seeking revenge after suffering a humiliating 22-21 defeat in Rome in 2011.

Replacements: B Kayser (Clermont Auvergne), V Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), L Ducalcon (Racing Metro), R Taofifenua (Perpignan), D Chouly (Clermont Auvergne), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Bastareaud (Toulon).

There will be full live coverage of Wales v Ireland and England v Scotland on Saturday 2 February from 12.30pm and Italy v France on Sunday 3 February on RTÉ Two. (Live streaming Ireland only). Ireland v Wales is also live from 1.00pm on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1. (Live streaming Worldwide). 

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