sport

Plisson to start for France

Stade Francais fly-half Jules Plisson will make his debut for France in Saturday's Six Nations opener against England in Paris.

Plisson has been preferred to Montpellier's Francois Trinh-Duc for the No 10 jersey in the absence of the injured Remi Tales.

The 22-year-old will be partnered at half-back by Toulouse's Jean-Marc Doussain, with Mathieu Bastareaud and Wesley Fofana forging the midfield combination.

Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape has been confirmed as captain of the side after flanker Thierry Dusautoir was ruled out for the entire tournament with a ruptured bicep tendon.

Racing Metro openside Bernard Le Roux replaces Dusautoir for the Stade de France clash and he will pack down alongside experienced back-row colleagues Yannick Nyanga and Louis Picamoles.

Heineken Cup quarter-finalists Toulouse provide the biggest representation from one Top 14 club through a five-strong contingent of Doussain, Nyanga, Picamoles and wings Yoann Huget and Maxime Medard.

"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," said Saint-Andre.

"Jean-Marc Doussain worked at number nine last week."

As for the decision to start with uncapped Plisson, as well as lock Alexandre Flanquart, who has only played twice for France, Saint-Andre insisted he wants some height in his side.

"It's part of our strategy, England has tall players in the lineup," he added.

"We also wanted to have two players who play together all year (Flanquart and captain Pascal Pape).

"We have an experienced player and a player who has excellent jumping abilities."

France: Dulin, Huget, Bastareaud, Fofana, Medard, Plisson, Doussain, Le Roux, Picamoles, Nyanga, Pape (capt), Flanquart, Mas, Kayser, Domingo.

Replacements: Szarzewski, Forestier, Slimani, Maestri, Burban, Chouly, Machenaud, Fickou.