/ Six Nations 2014

Stade Francais out-half Jules Plisson to make debut for France in England clash

Updated: Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 11:17 | Comments

Jules Plisson in action for Stade Francais
Jules Plisson in action for Stade Francais

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Stade Francais out-half Jules Plisson will make his France debut in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash against England.

The 22-year-old has won Les Bleus coach Philippe Saint-Andre's vote for the playmaker role in a team captained by Plisson's club colleague Pascal Pape.

"Jules was the obvious choice as he only played 10 minutes with Stade Francais [in the Top 14] last Friday and we did a full session with him at number 10 while Francois Trinh-Duc only started training on Monday," Saint-Andre told a news conference on Thursday. "And Jean-Marc Doussain has worked at number nine last week."

Scrumhalf Morgan Parra has been ruled out of the game but he could make his return at some point in the championship as he has recovered from a knee injury.

Plisson is the only uncapped player to start, although in the second row, lock Alexandre Flanquart has just two France games under his belt.

"It's part of our strategy, England has tall players in the lineup," Saint-Andre said. “We also wanted to have two players who play together all year [Flanquart and Pape]. "We have an experienced player and a player who has excellent jumping abilities."

His choice sends Yoann Maestri, who is about 20 kilos heavier than Flanquart, to the bench.              

Pape takes over leadership duties from flanker Thierry Dusautoir, who suffered a biceps injury in Heineken Cup action earlier this month and will miss the entire Six Nations tournament.

With Dusautoir sidelined, Racing Metro openside Bernard Le Roux is called up for the Stade de France clash. He will pack down alongside experienced back-row colleagues Yannick Nyanga and Louis Picamoles.

Plisson, meanwhile, will be partnered at half-back by Toulouse's Jean-Marc Doussain, with Mathieu Bastareaud and Wesley Fofana forging the midfield combination.

Heineken Cup quarter-finalists Toulouse provide the biggest representation from one club through a five-strong contingent of Doussain, Nyanga, Picamoles and wings Yoann Huget and Maxime Medard.

France XV to play England: France team to play England: B Dulin; Y Huget, M Bastareaud, W Fofana, M Medard; J Plisson, J-M Doussain; T Domingo, B Kayser, N Mas, A Flanquart, P Pape (Capt); Y Nyanga, B Le Roux, L Picamoles.

Replacements: D Szarzewski, Y Forestier, R Slimani, Y Maestri, A Burban, D Chouly, M Machenaud, G Fickou.

Live television coverage of the opening weekend of the RBS Six Nations from 14:00 on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage on Saturday Sport (14:00) and Sunday Sport (14:00) on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

Read Tadhg Peavoy's profile of France ahead of this year's Six Nations championship

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