12 Mar 2009

"Caveman" returns to French back row

5:45 am on 12 March 2009

France have switched their popular powerhouse Sebastien Chabal back into their back row and made three other changes for their Six Nations showdown with England at Twickenham.

Sale Sharks forward Chabal, who replaces the dropped Fulgence Ouedraogo, last played in the post two years ago in a heavy loss to New Zealand.

He played lock against Ireland and Wales in this year's Six Nations and was also deployed in the second row during the November Tests as well as for his club.

France head coach Marc Lievremont has further strengthened his pack by bringing in Lionel Faure at prop and Jerome Thion of Biarritz at lock.

The only backline change sees Francois Trinh-Duc starting at first-five in place of Benoit Baby, who suffered a knee injury in the win over defending champions Wales.

France: Maxime Medard (Toulouse); Julien Malzieu (Clermont), Mathieu Bastareaud (Stade Franais), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Cedric Heymans (Toulouse); Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Morgan Parra (Bourgoin); Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Sebastien Chabal (Sale/ENG), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse); Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Lionel Nallet (Castres, capt); Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Franais), Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Franais), Lionel Faure (Sale/ENG). Res: Benjamin Kayser (Leicester/ENG), Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Castres), Florian Fritz (Toulouse), Damien Traille (Biarritz)