The long-awaited traditional “Crunch”.
The XV of France challenges England on Saturday (5:45 p.m.) at Twickenham, where it has not won since 2005 in the Tournament.
A shock at the top between two teams still in contention (despite a defeat each) to win this edition, even if Ireland, undefeated before going to Scotland on Sunday (4 p.m.), is the favorite to achieve the Grand Slam.
Calendar and results 6 Nations
Ranking Tournament 6 of Nations
This Thursday, Fabien Galthié made several changes from the team which had disposed of Scotland (32-21), due to the injuries of some and the suspensions of others.
The surprise came from the tenure of Jonathan Danty, in place of Yoram Moefana.
The three-quarter center of La Rochelle had recently returned to the field, especially last weekend against Pau, after his knee injury at the end of December.
He will be associated, once again, with Gaël Fickou, the captain of the tricolor defense.
Like last year during the Grand Slam performed by the Blues.
The other surprise concerns the right pillar Dorian Aldegheri.
The last of his 8 international selections dates back to March 2021, during a defeat in the Tournament against … England (23-20) at Twickenham.
He was preferred to Sipili Falatea (UBB), who remains a substitute after the suspensions of Uini Atonio and Mohamed Haouas.
Among the incumbents, another modification was made with the logical tenure of Toulouse third-line François Cros.
He returns to the starting XV after Anthony Jelonch's serious knee injury against the Scots.
It is on the side of the bench of substitutes, the famous "finishers", that there is the most movement.
The bad news for the Blues came on Wednesday from the ankle injury of opener Matthieu Jalibert (UBB).
The latter could even miss the end of the season.
Fabien Galthié and his staff decided, to compensate for this absence, to relaunch the back Melvyn Jaminet (Toulouse), his teammate and club rival, Thomas Ramos, who could slip at the opening during the match.
Jaminet's twelfth and last selection dates back to June 2022 on the occasion of the first test match won against Japan (23-42).
Read alsoXV of France: Jalibert (UBB) absent at least a month
For the big fight that awaits Antoine Dupont and his troops in England, another major comeback should be noted: that of hooker Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse).
Habitual lining of Julien Marchant in the tailgating, Mauvaka had injured his finger and had been operated on in mid-January.
Finally, the last return to the bench, that of the UBB scrum-half, Maxime Lucu.
The usual replacement for Antoine Dupont has been absent due to injury since the start of this Tournament.
He regains his place as finisher at the expense of Lyonnais Baptiste Couilloud.
The composition of the XV of France
Ramos – Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Dumortier – (o) Ntamack, (m) Dupont (cap) – Ollivon, Alldritt, Cros – Willemse, Flament – Aldegheri, Falatea, Marchand, Baille.
: Mauvaka, Wardi, Falatea, Taofifenua, Macalou, Lucu, Moefana, Jaminet.