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Monday 10 December 2018

France minus Jauzion can prevail

Year after year, France come to the Six Nations as a team thrown into confusion by their coach's eccentric behaviour and/or selection, writes Des Berry.

Marc Lievremont has taken the seismic decision to leave centre kingpin Yannick Jauzion out of the match squad, never mind team, in a move akin to Brian O'Driscoll being exorcised from the Irish three-quarter line.

True, Clermont's Aurelien Rougerie and Perpignan's Maxime Mermoz have been in sound form for their clubs. But, Jauzion, 33, has been their bedrock for more than a decade.

Maybe, just maybe, this is the time for those who have lived in his shadow to walk forth into the international light.

Scotland's Andy Robinson has done a far better job the second time around as an international coach than he did with his native England.

The benefit of low expectations has enabled Robinson to go back to basics and build from the bottom up. They may not, however, be able to resist France in less than their full flow.

Verdict: France

France: D Traille; Y Huget, A Rougerie, M Mermoz, M Medard; F Trinh-Duc, M Parra; T Domingo, W Servat, N Mas, J Pierre, L Nallet, T Dusautoir (capt), J Bonnaire, I Harinordoquy.

Scotland: H Southwell; N Walker, J Ansbro, N de Luca, M Evans; D Parks, R Lawson; A Jacobsen, R Ford, E Murray, R Gray, A Kellock (capt), N Hines, K Brown, J Barclay.

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