France name experienced side for opening Six Nations game vs. Italy

Fabien Galthie has announced his team to face Italy in their first Six Nations game of the tournament. Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

Fabien Galthie has named a more experienced side compared to last year's Six Nations for his side's opening game against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

The main names missing are Romain Ntamack and Virimi Vakatawa who are injured.

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Mattieu Jalibert will replace the injured Ntamack at fly-half and is accompanied by 2020 Six Nations player of the tournament Anton Dupont at No. 9.

Gregory Alldritt is fit to start after an injury scare.

Bernard Le Roux and Paul Willemse start in the second-row with Brice Dulin at No. 15.

Julien Marchand is at hooker, Muhammed Haouas is at tighthead while Cyril Baille takes up loosehead.

Gael Fickou and Arthur Vincent take up the centre and are flanked by Teddy Thomas and Gabin Villiere.

France trimmed their squad from 37 to 31 players before the start of the tournament to satisfy safety concerns within the French federation and the Top 14.

France team

Brice Dulin, Teddy Thomas, Arthur Vincent, Gael Fickou, Gabin Villiere, Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Dupont, Charles Ollivon (captain), Gregory Alldritt, Dylan Cretin, Paul Willemse, Bernard Le Roux, Mohamed Haouas, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille.

Replacements: Pierre Bourgarit, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Dorian Aldegheri, Romain Taofifenua, Anthony Jelonch, Baptiste Serin, Louis Carbonel, Damian Penaud.