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Wednesday 16 August 2017

Bastareaud benched for impact says Saint-Andre

Philippe Saint-André admits he is looking for much more from his France side after making a raft of changes for their Six Nations clash with Italy tomorrow.

France travel to Italy with the two sides in contrasting moods, Les Bleus having lost back-to-back Championship matches against Ireland and Wales and the Azzurri arriving following a last-gasp 22-19 victory over Scotland.

With Wesley Fofana and Rémi Lamerat injured, Maxime Mermoz and Gaël Fickou get the nod in the centres, while Mathieu Bastareaud is on the bench.

"Mathieu had a few little issues at the start of the week but he's fine to be in the 23," Saint-André said.

"Now, Maxime is in great form and Gaël has been with us for a long time. We prefer to use Mathieu as an impact player. He's capable of adding his power."

ITALY V FRANCE, LIVE RTE2/BBC1 TOMORROW (3.0)

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