Magne and Ibanez return as Laporte opts for experience
9 February 2006 11:03am
France coach Bernard Laporte has made five changes to his team for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Ireland and brought back veterans Raphael Ibanez and Olivier Magne.
Laporte has wielded the axe after the pre-tournament favourites suffered a shock 20-16 defeat by Scotland in last week's opener at Murrayfield.
Hooker Ibanez and flanker Magne return for Les Bleus in place of Remy Martin, who failed to live up to expectations, and Dimitri Szarzewski, who has an Achilles injury.
The other new faces are Olivier Milloud at prop, centre David Marty and Aurelien Rougerie on the wing.
Milloud comes in for Sylvain Marconnet, who drops to the bench, and Rougerie replaces Christophe Dominici, who in turn will play at fullback in place of the injured Nicolas Brusque.
Ludovic Valbon is replaced by Marty.
Team: C Dominici (Stade Francais); A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), D Marty (Perpignan), F Fritz (Toulouse), C Heymans (Toulouse); F Michalak (Toulouse), JB Elissalde (Toulouse); O Milloud (Bourgoin), R Ibanez (London Wasps), P De Villiers (Stade Francais), F Pelous (Toulouse, capt), J Thion (Biarritz), Y Nyanga (Toulouse), J Bonnaire (Bourgoin), O Magne (London Irish).
Replacements: S Bruno (Sale), S Marconnet (Stade Francais), L Nallet (Castres), R Martin (Stade Francais), D Yachvili (Biarritz), B Boyet (Bourgoin), L Valbon (Brive).
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.