14 Jun 2018

Wholesale changes for France ahead of second test

9:56 am on 14 June 2018

The France coach Jacques Brunel has swung the axe and made five changes to his starting side for their second test against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday night.

Loose forwards Fabien Sanconnie and Judicael Cancoriet, who started in the 52-11 first-test loss, have been dropped from the 23-man matchday squad.

Mathieu Babillot and Kelian Galletier, who were not considered for the first test after they played in the Top-14 final and arrived late in New Zealand, have been named to replace the pair on the side of the French scrum.

Fullback Maxime Medard has been dropped to the bench with Montpellier winger Ben Fall, also a late arrival, taking his place.

Gael Fickou, who is usually a centre for his club Toulouse, has been named on the left wing for the injured Remy Grosso, who suffered facial fractures and was ruled out of the series following a double tackle by Sam Cane and Ofa Tu'ungafasi last week.

France's Remy Grosso is tackled by All Blacks Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Sam Cane.

France's Remy Grosso is tackled by All Blacks Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Sam Cane. Photo: Photosport

Bernard Le Roux has been promoted off the bench to replace fellow lock Paul Gabrillagues, who was harshly sinbinned at Eden Park last weekend.

Experienced tighthead prop Rabah Slimani, who was demolished by debutant Karl Tu'inukuafe in their first scrum, has dropped out of the matchday squad altogether along with replacement hooker Adrien Pelissie.

Racing 92 prop Cedate Gomes Sa and La Rochelle hooker Pierre Bougarit have taken their places on the bench.