Ntamack and Vakatawa return for Le Crunch

Ntamack and Vakatawa return for Le Crunch

Fabien Galthie has welcomed the return of star centre Virimi Vakatawa and flyhalf Romain Ntamack for France's visit to Twickenham on Saturday.

Vakatawa returns straight to the starting XV while Ntamack finds a place on the bench as France opt for a 6-2 split in favour of the forwards. 

Cyril Baille, Julian Marchand and Mohamed Haouas continue in the front row for Les Bleus while there is a change in the second row with Romain Taofifenua replacing the injured Bernard Le Roux. Paul Willemse partners Taofifenua after he was cleared to play after a close contact case with a Clermont player during the TOP14. 

There is another change in the back row with Anthony Jelonch dropping to the bench with Dylan Cretin reclaiming the #6 jersey while Charles Ollivon and Gregory Alldritt retain their starting roles with the former captaining the side having recovered from COVID.

Antoine Dupont and Matthieu Jalibert resume their partnership at 9 and 10 despite the return to fitness of Romain Ntamack while Gael Fickou and Virimi Vaktawa start in the centre with Arthur Vincent unavailable. 

In the back three, Damian Penaud switches flanks to start in the #11 jumper following the injury to Gabin Villiere while Teddy Thomas is elevated from the bench to the starting XV taking Penaud's place on the right wing. Brice Dulin completes the starting XV at fullback.

On the bench, France have been further boosted by the return of Camille Chat who reclaims the #16 jumper with Jean-Baptiste Gros and Dorian Aldegheri both covering the other front row positions. Cyril Cazeaux takes Taofifenua's role as cover for the second role while Gatlhie has named two back-rowers on the bench in Cameron Woki and Anthony Jelonch. 

Baptiste Serin and Romain Ntamack provide cover for the backs in the 22 and 23 jerseys respectively. 

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