Six Nations: Saint-Andre tweaks French squad

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FRANCE coach Philippe Saint-Andre has called up Toulouse wing Maxime Medard and the Perpignan lock forward Sebastien Vahaamahina to his squad ahead of the RBS Six Nations clash with Ireland.

Successive defeats to Italy, Wales and England have left Les Blues battling to avoid the wooden spoon and Saint-Andre has brought in Medard for Racing Metro’s Benjamin Fall and Vahaamahina for Toulon’s Jocelino Suta.

Saturday’s 23-13 defeat to England at Twickenham followed losses against Italy and Wales, but Saint-Andre has opted against wholesale changes, instead only making a couple of tweaks to his 23-man selection.

Medard has not played for France since last year’s Six Nations, while Vahaamahina has just one cap to his name, which came against Australia in November. Saint-Andre said: “We have made these changes on the basis of our performance against England.”

Saint-Andre revealed he had been following both players for some time and he received good reports about their club form. He said: “We looked at all league games this weekend and revised our end game.

Medard’s return from injury had shown he was ready to join the national team set-up.

“Maxime [Medard] showed that after his injury he returned to his best and he will bring his qualities and experience.

“Sebastien [Vahaamahina] participated in the November matches. Currently he is very successful with his club.”