France change half-back pairing for Scotland clash

France team to face Scotland in the Six Nations 2019

France team to face Scotland in the Six Nations 2019

Both players made critical comments after the record 44-8 defeat to England at Twickenham in the last round.

"I think that we are capable of doing what the English do, but are we working on this during training?"

"We have to turn things around and show the real face of the France team", he said.

"Yet these are very simple things that are today part of high-level rugby. But do we work on it? No". "If there was doubt about it we wouldn't be playing him there", he added. "But I think it is not just us, and we are not alone in this disaster".

Brunel insisted Parra and Lopez were not dropped for their public utterances.

Brunel has opted for an inexperienced line-up, with Toulouse duo Dupont - who has 11 caps - and twice-capped Ntamack, 19, replacing Clermont counterparts Parra and Lopez, who have 92 Test appearances between them.

"Given our performance [against England] we needed to change things", Brunel told reporters on Tuesday, who also denied that Parra and Lopez had been sanctioned for reportedly blamed Brunel and his coaching staff for the England defeat. "Ask them, ask their team mates".

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"I know too much about...how things are wrapped up, turned around and altered to let me be disturbed by this kind of thing". "He plays centre for Toulouse, but at the same time he's the one who organizes their play".

As a result, Yoann Huget shifts back to the wing after playing fullback in London and Gael Fickou is back at inside centre after playing at the wing.

On Tuesday, Brunel announced his side to take on Scotland in Paris on Saturday, with no place among the 23 for scrum-half Parra or number 10 Lopez, who have 92 global caps between them.

Bastareaud and Fickou were paired together during France's first ever loss to Fiji in November.

"It's a sporting choice, it has nothing to do with what was said".

He said Ramos was the regular goalkicker for Top 14 leaders Toulouse, "so it is preferable that he is the one who assumes this task".

The other changes see Thomas Ramos handed a maiden start at full-back, with Yoann Huget switching from 15 to the left wing and Gael Fickou moving inside to the centre, while Wenceslas Lauret is picked at flanker in place of Yacouba Camara.

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