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Lievremont continues to shake up France squad, names five rookies against Italy

Lievremont continues to shake up France squad, names five rookies against Italy

France coach Marc Lievremont recalled No. 8 Imanol Harinordoquy and center Yannick Jauzion and named five rookies Wednesday in his squad to play Italy in the Six Nations.
France was beaten 24-13 by England last weekend to drop to 2-1 in the championship, and Lievremont is keen to try out some more new players against Italy at Stade de France on March 9.
"We wanted to open up the squad to see new players," Lievremont said, adding that he could make further changes for the final match against Wales in Cardiff on March 15.
"It is possible to modify (the squad)," Lievremont said. "It is not a certainty (to keep it the same)."
Prop Fabien Barcella, hooker Guillem Guirado, flanker Ibrahim Diarra, scrumhalf Julien Tomas and center Yann David are called up for the first time, while winger Julien Malzieu also returns after sitting out the last two games because of a thigh muscle tear from the team's opening win against Scotland.
"We don't have a set list," Lievremont added. "We are interested in following all the potential French (players)."
Scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili is the only recognized goalkicker, although center Damien Traille could take the kicking duties despite missing two penalties against England.
Against England, Les Tricolores lined up without a goalkicker for the first time since 1980. Lievremont reaffirmed his faith in Traille's ability with the boot.
"For us, Damien Traille is a goalkicker ... (although) maybe not 100 percent," Lievremont said.
Lievremont rested the 19-year-old scrumhalf Morgan Parra, despite a decent showing against England, because he wants to take a look at the 22-year-old Tomas. While the coaching staff is keen to see whether the 23-year-old Barcella can take his league form for Auch onto the international stage.
"He is a player we have been following for several weeks, if not several months," Lievremont said. "He often shines with his club Auch and we wanted to see him at the highest level."
The versatile Traille, who played at times at fullback at the 2007 World Cup under former coach Bernard Laporte, will act as cover for flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc against Italy.
No. 8 Louis Picamoles has proved his fitness after injuring his shoulder against England.
"The medical staff of Montpellier reassured us about Louis Picamoles' health," Lievremont said. "He will be fine."
Lievremont is keen to try out Picamloes and Fulgence Ouedraogo against Italy.
"We have a back row that compliments itself well," Lievremont said. "We want to see other players while still keeping a balance."
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Squad:
Forwards: Fabien Barcella, Nicolas Mas, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Guillem Guirado, Dimitri Szarzewski, Lionel Nallet, Pascal Pape, Jerome Thion, Ibrahim Diarra, Imanol Harinordoquy, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Louis Picamoles.
Backs: Julien Tomas, Dimitri Yachvili, Francois Trinh-Duc, Yann David, Damien Traille, Yannick Jauzion, Vincent Clerc, Julien Malzieu, Aurelien Rougerie, Anthony Floc.


Updated : 2021-04-23 08:17 GMT+08:00