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France name strong side for opener against Wales

Pauline Bourdon France

Gaëlle Hermet will lead an experienced French team for their opening game of the Women’s Six Nations at home to Wales in Vannes.

While experienced campaigners like Jessy Trémoulière and Safi N’Diaye are only the bench, it is still a very strong side with the likes of Pauline Bourdon and Coumba Diallo also included.

Les Bleues, who had an up-and-down 2020, will be keen to bounce back at the Stade de la Rabine against Wales.

The front row is made of experienced trio Anaëlle Deshaye, Agathe Sochat and Clara Joyeux, while Diallo is joined Madoussou Fall in the second row.

Hermet captains the side from the back row, alongside Céline Férer and Emeline Gros at No.8.

Bourdon gets the nod at scrum-half, ahead of Laure Sansus, and she will link up with Morgane Peyronnet in the half-backs, while Gabrielle Vernier and Maëlle Filopon start together in midfield.

The one uncapped player in the side is Emilie Boulard who starts at full-back, with Caroline Boujard and Marine Ménager joining her in the back three.

France finished second in the 2020 Women’s Six Nations and will be hoping to get off to a strong start against Wales, with a trip to Ireland to come.

France team to take on Wales

15. Emilie Boulard
14. Caroline Boujard
13. Maëlle Filopon
12. Gabrielle Vernier
11. Marine Ménager
10. Morgane Peyronnet
9. Pauline Bourdon

1. Anaëlle Deshaye
2. Agathe Sochat
3. Clara Joyeux
4. Coumba Diallo
5. Madoussou Fall
6. Céline Férer
7. Gaëlle Hermet (c)
8. Emeline Gros

Replacements :

16. Laure Touyé
17. Rkhya Ait Lahbib
18. Maylis Traoré
19. Safi N’Diaye
20. Marjorie Mayans
21. Laure Sansus
22. Camille Imart
23. Jessy Trémoulière