Ben Arous in for France Six Nations match against Ireland
MARCOUSSIS (FRANCE) - France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has called up prop Eddy Ben Arous to face Ireland in the Six Nations in Dublin on Saturday in the sole change to the team that beat Scotland 15-8 in their opening fixture.
Racing-Metro's Ben Arous, 24, replaces the injured Alexandre Menini for a first start for Les Bleus, having made his debut off the bench against New Zealand last June.
The 25-times capped Vincent Debaty takes his place among the replacements for what promises to be a tough match at Lansdowne Road against an Irish side that kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a 26-3 win over Italy.
Saint-Andre opted not to reshuffle his team, heavily criticised in the French media over the quality of their play in the victory over Scotland.
Scrum-half Morgan Parra will consider himself unlucky not to be starting given his impressive cameo performance when he came on for South Africa-born Rory Kockott last weekend.
Kockott again pairs up with Castres teammate Camille Lopez, Saint-Andre saying: "Rory also did some interesting things in his first start and he deserves to carry on with Camille for this match."
Another South African, Scott Spedding, also keeps his place at full-back, Saint-Andre resisting the urge to rush Brice Dulin back from a biceps injury.
"At fullback Brice is making progress but he is not there yet in terms of tackling and passing the ball," the coach said, predicting a tough game in Dublin.
"It is important for us to win an away match against a major team, but to do that we have to be more effective than we were against Scotland," Saint-Andre said.
"Ireland are an extremely disciplined side. They usually give away only around eight penalties whereas the Scots give up 13-14.
"They are full of confidence and showed that when they seized the game by the scruff of the neck against the Italians once they were down to 14 men.
"They have won eight in a row and are the favourites for the title. We have to compete with them in every area, duels in the air where they are very strong, tackle hard and not give an inch."
Saint-Andre played down theh fact the two teams will meet in pool play in the World Cup.
"No it is only psychological as to what happens for the rest of the Six Nations, the World Cup is another tournament," he said of Saturday's match.
"The players are confident in themselves and up for the match which we hope we will produce a great performance. The last three matches with the Irish have been very tight - two draws and a defeat by two points, so expect another tight one."