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England recall Shaw, France move Chabal for Thion

England recall Shaw, France move Chabal for Thion

Rival locks Jerome Thion and Simon Shaw were given their first starts in a year on Wednesday as France and England looked to bulk up for their Six Nations rugby clash this weekend.
Still in title contention, France gave former captain Thion his 46th cap beside skipper Lionel Nallet and bumped Sebastien Chabal to blindside flanker for Sunday's game at Twickenham.
Sale-based Chabal hasn't played flanker since Marc Lievremont took over as France coach after the 2007 World Cup, but Lievremont said it was time for Chabal to join Thierry Dusautoir and star No. 8 Imanol Harinordoquy in a combative loose trio.
"It's been a while that we have been thinking about this option," Lievremont said. "Sebastien will bring his ability to break the defensive line and some solutions to counter the English game."
Added assistant coach Didier Retiere: "Chabal is used to the English league, he has become immersed in the English rugby frame of mind. Both his mental strength and his power will benefit the team."
Fulgence Ouedraogo made way for Chabal.
Francois Trinh-Duc, who made his debut in last year's tournament, replaced injured flyhalf Benoit Baby, and the only other change was at loosehead prop, where Lionel Faure was in for Fabien Barcella.
Mathieu Bastareaud will win a second cap at outside center after an impressive debut in the 21-16 upset of defending champion Wales on Feb. 27. Bastareaud was preferred to Florian Fritz, who was available after his three-week suspension ended.
Lievremont decided to start seven players in their 30s.
"We needed to rejuvenate the team and the young players we started have played some good games," Retiere said. "Now, some more experienced players are coming back to add consistency to the team."
Martin Johnson, manager of the England side which was virtually eliminated from the title race, had the same idea.
Shaw, who made his debut in 1996 and used to battle Johnson for starts, was picked for his power and experience. At 35, he'll become the oldest player in the tournament.
He replaced Nick Kennedy, Tom Croft came in for James Haskell at blindside flanker for his pace and lineout ability, and Ugo Monye took over from an off-form Paul Sackey on the wing in the only changes from the 14-13 loss to Ireland.
"Simon has been around the England squad for 15 years. He is doing very, very well (to still be involved at 35)," Johnson said.
While Sackey injured his calf against Ireland, Johnson admitted dropping Sackey on form for Monye.
"I just don't think Paul has been at his best during the tournament," Johnson said.
"He has done some good work in this team for the last two years and I don't make that call lightly. It is up to him now to respond back with his club and show the hunger to get back into the side."
Johnson brought in referee Wayne Barnes this week in an attempt to improve the side's discipline after conceding 10 yellow cards in its last four tests.
"We will need a very strong defense against France and must reduce the penalty count," Johnson said. "We must not give the referee any opportunities to penalize us."
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Lineups:
England: Delon Armitage, Mark Cueto, Mike Tindall, Riki Flutey, Ugo Monye, Toby Flood, Harry Ellis; Andrew Sheridan, Lee Mears, Phil Vickery, Steve Borthwick (captain), Simon Shaw, Tom Croft, Joe Worsley, Nick Easter. Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Julian White, Nick Kennedy, James Haskell, Danny Care, Andy Goode, Mathew Tait.
France: Maxime Medard, Julien Malzieu, Mathieu Bastareaud, Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans, Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra; Lionel Faure, Dimitri Szarzewski, Sylvain Marconnet, Lionel Nallet (captain), Jerome Thion, Sebastien Chabal, Thierry Dusautoir, Imanol Harinordoquy. Replacements: Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Louis Picamoles, Julien Bonnaire, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Florian Fritz, Damien Traille.


Updated : 2021-03-02 13:40 GMT+08:00