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Penaud and Jelonch return as France make two changes for Ireland

France will welcome back Damian Penaud for their Guinness Six Nations match against Ireland

Damien Penaud starts on the wing and Anthony Jelonch comes into the back row as Fabien Galthie makes two changes to his France starting XV to take on Ireland.

Both new faces came off the bench during the 50-10 victory over Italy in Round 1 and clearly impressed sufficiently to be handed a starting berth for the trip to Dublin.

Teddy Thomas, scorer of two tries against the Azzurri, and Dylan Cretin thus drop to the bench as France seek a first win at the Aviva Stadium since 2011.

Although Thomas being moved to the bench may seem harsh on the 27-year-old after his explosive performance in Rome, Penaud’s reliability under the high ball may well have come into Galthie’s thinking ahead of facing an Ireland side who traditionally kick more than their Italian counterparts.

There are three further new faces among the France replacements with Hassane Kolingar replacing the injured Jean-Baptiste Gros and veteran Uini Atonio preferred to Dorian Aldegheri as the props.

Anthony Bouthier also comes into the 23 instead of Louis Carbonel, with Galthié deeming that the full-back can also cover at fly-half if necessary.

Victory over an Ireland side who impressed while playing with 14 men for more than an hour in defeat to Wales last time out would not only get the Dublin monkey off Les Bleus’ back but move them a step closer to a first Guinness Six Nations title in more than a decade.

France team to face Ireland in Round 2 of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations
15. Brice Dulin (La Rochelle, 32 caps)
14. Damian Penaud (Clermont Auvergne, 18 caps)
13. Arthur Vincent (Montpellier, 8 caps)
12. Gaël Fickou (Stade Français, 59 caps)
11. Gabin Villière (Toulon, 3 caps)
10. Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Bègles, 9 caps)
9. Antoine Dupont (Toulouse, 28 caps)
1. Cyril Baille (Toulouse, 24 caps)
2. Julien Marchand (Toulouse, 10 caps)
3. Mohamed Haouas (Montpellier, 8 caps)
4. Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92, 45 caps)
5. Paul Willemse (Montpellier, 13 caps)
6. Anthony Jelonch (Castres Olympique, 5 caps)
7. Charles Ollivon (Toulon, 19 caps) – captain
8. Grégory Alldritt (La Rochelle, 19 caps)

Replacements:
16. Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle, 4 caps)
17. Hassane Kolingar (Racing 92, 2 caps)
18. Uini Atonio (La Rochelle, 34 caps)
19. Romain Taofifenua (Toulon, 21 caps)
20. Dylan Cretin (Lyon, 6 caps)
21. Baptiste Serin (Toulon, 40 caps)
22. Anthony Bouthier (Montpellier, 6 caps)
23. Teddy Thomas (Racing 92, 23 caps)