The France team to play Ireland in the second round of the RBS 6 Nations has been named. Eddy Ben Arous’ inclusion at loosehead prop is the only change to the side that beat Scotland 15-8.
Eddy Ben Arous saw second half action against the Scots as a replacement for the injured Alexandre Menini, and the latter’s foot injury means Ben Arous will start against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
It will be the 24-year-old’s third cap and first start for France, and the 25-times capped Vincent Debaty will back him up on the bench.
French head coach Philippe Saint-André has kept faith with the rest of the starting line-up, retaining Six Nations newcomers Scott Spedding, Teddy Thomas, Camille Lopez and Rory Kockott in the back-line.
That quartet, along with forwards Ben Arous and Bernard le Roux, have not faced Ireland before at Test level.
Indeed, there are wholesale changes (ten in all) to the side that started against Ireland in Paris last March – Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Pascal Papé, Yoann Maestri and Damien Chouly are the only survivors.
FRANCE Team & Replacements (v Ireland, 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, February 14, kick-off 5pm):
15. Scott Spedding (Bayonne)
14. Yoann Huget (Toulouse)
13. Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon)
12. Wesley Fofana (Clermont Auvergne)
11. Teddy Thomas (Racing Metro 92)
10. Camille Lopez (Clermont Auvergne)
9. Rory Kockott (Castres Olympique)
1. Eddy Ben Arous (Racing Metro 92)
2. Guilhem Guirado (Toulon)
3. Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais)
4. Pascal Papé (Stade Francais)
5. Yoann Maestri (Toulouse)
6. Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse) (capt)
7. Bernard le Roux (Racing Metro 92)
8. Damien Chouly (Clermont Auvergne)
16. Benjamin Kayser (Clermont Auvergne)
17. Uini Atonio (La Rochelle)
18. Vincent Debaty (Clermont Auvergne)
19. Romain Taofifenua (Toulon)
20. Loann Goujon (La Rochelle)
21. Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne)
22. Rémi Tales (Castres Olympique)
23. Rémi Lamerat (Castres Olympique)