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Saint-André’s four changes all come in the pack, with Maestri’s Toulouse teammate Jean-Baptiste Poux called in to shore up the front row along with Dimitri Szarzewski who impressed off the bench last week.
And to overcome the struggles in the lineout against the Azzurri, Imanol Harinordoquy starts in place of Julien Bonnaire to counter the threat of Paul O’Connell.
Saint-André revealed that the changes had been made to keep the pack fresh after an increased workload during their short preparation time.
He said: “It’s the same squad of 22 except there are four changes in the starting line-up. We wanted to keep things fresh. We perhaps worked a little too hard last week and were lacking energy in the first half.
“We won’t play with 15 players, but 22. They are very good in the lineout. It’s logical for Imanol Harinordoquy to come in.
“We need to be more precise with our cleanouts. Yoann Maestri was very good in that area when he came on against Italy.
“These aren’t punishments, just adjustments for Ireland. We wanted to have some consistency in the backline. As soon as we injected some pace we were dangerous. We wanted to see exactly the same backline in action again.”
France team to face Ireland:
15. Maxime Médard (Toulouse)
14. Vincent Clerc (Toulouse)
13. Aurélien Rougerie (Clermont)
12. Wesley Fofana (Clermont)
11. Julien Malzieu (Clermont)
10. François Trinh-Duc (Montpellier)
9. Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz)
1. Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse)
2. Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Français)
3. Nicolas Mas (Perpignan)
4. Pascal Papé (Stade Français)
5. Yoann Maestri (Toulouse)
6. Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse)
7. Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
8. Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)
16. William Servat (Toulouse)
17. Vincent Debaty (Clermont)
18. Lionel Nallet (Racing-Metro)
19. Julien Bonnaire (Clermont)
20. Morgan Parra (Clermont)
21. Lionel Beauxis (Toulouse)
22. Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan)