France have named an unchanged squad for their Six Nations game against England on March 10.
Head coach Jacques Brunel has kept faith in his squad that earned a first win in nine matches against Italy, which means there is no place in the squad for the players who were hit with a one-match ban over a controversial late-night drinking session in Edinburgh.
No 8 Louis Picamoles has been left out along with the other seven punished players: Teddy Thomas, Arthur Iturria, Anthony Belleau, Jonathan Danty, Sekou Macalou, Remi Lamerat and Felix Lambey.
France had been under pressure ahead of Friday game against Italy but Brunel hopes his side “have regained confidence” following the 34-17 success and could yet name an unchanged team against England, who will be smarting from their chastening 25-13 defeat by Scotland.
Centre Mathieu Bastareaud is likely to be handed another start after a starring role against Italy. He missed France’s first two matches in the tournament as he served a ban over a homophobic slur.
Clermont Auvergne vs La Rochelle
March 4, 2018, 3:45pm
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Brunel was delighted with Bastareaud’s contribution in Marseille, saying: “We knew from the beginning he would be useful to the team and he demonstrated that.
“He gave us what we expected of him.”