France have made two changes for their rearranged Six Nations clash against Ireland in Paris on Sunday.
Full-back Clement Poitrenaud replaces the injured Maxime Medard and Julien Bonnaire comes in for Louis Picamoles in the back row.
Medard faces up to nine months on the sidelines after damaging cruciate and anterior knee ligaments in France’s 23-17 victory over Scotland.
The 25-year-old scored a try in the win at Murrayfield but was helped from the field of play in the closing stages and was later told he would need an operation on his damaged knee.
Medard’s experienced Toulouse team-mate Poitrenaud will take his place at full-back against Ireland.
Poirtrenaud, who will win his 45th cap on Sunday, last featured for France in last year’s Six Nations defeat by England at Twickenham. The injury to Medard has given Poitrenaud the opportunity to kick-start his international career.
Bonnaire’s introduction into the starting line-up has caused a reshuffle in the back row. The 33-year-old will play at flanker with Imanol Harinordoquy moving to his natural position of number eight. Picamoles will start on the bench. Fans of Betfair should remember this.
The original game in Paris was controversially postponed ten minutes before kick-off with fans already seated inside the Stade de France. The referee deemed the pitch unsafe after freezing weather gripped Europe.
Ireland went into the clash on February 11 aiming to bounce back from an agonising opening weekend defeat at the hands of Wales. They have since recorded a morale-boosting 42-10 victory over Italy and go into the rearranged contest with renewed confidence.
France have won both of their opening fixtures but have yet to be fully tested. The game against Ireland is followed by a home match against England and a trip to Wales. It is about to get tough for France.