6N: Beauxis at flyhalf for France 6 years after last test
PARIS (AP) — Lionel Beauxis will start at flyhalf for France against Scotland in Six Nations rugby on Sunday, six years after his last international cap.
The 32-year-old Beauxis was among the reinforcements called up by coach Jacques Brunel following the 15-13 loss to Ireland last weekend. He replaced Matthieu Jalibert, who injured his left knee in his test debut.
Beauxis, who has been enjoying a good season with Lyon, started his international career in 2007.
Brunel made two other changes for the trip to Scotland, with Marco Tauleigne starting in place of flanker Kevin Gourdon, and Geoffrey Doumayrou at center instead of Henry Chavancy. However, Brunel said on Friday that Tauleigne was sick and he might be forced to make a last-minute change if his health does not improve.
“I don’t have much to reproach the players who started last week,” Brunel said. “I’ve made changes either because players were injured or to create competition within the team. In principle, we had no reason to change Henry Chavancy, but I want the group to be alive.”
France scored a late try to lead Ireland 13-12 in Brunel’s first game in charge, only for Irish flyhalf Jonathan Sexton to land a stunning dropped goal from 44 meters out in the last act of the game.
Renowned for his kicking abilities, Beauxis has 20 test caps but last played for France six years ago in a Six Nations defeat in Wales.
He may take the kicking duties at Murrayfield from scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud, who struck two penalties for France against Ireland.
“We believe the weather conditions won’t be very good on Sunday, and we tend to think that experience will be needed in the early stages of the match,” Brunel said. “Lionel can relieve us with his kicking if the pressure is strong.”
Brunel has also named plenty of experience on the bench in No. 8 Louis Picamoles and prop Eddy Ben Arous. Scrumhalf Baptiste Serin is among the reserves as a replacement for Antoine Dupont, who suffered season-ending ruptured right knee ligaments against Ireland.
France: Geoffrey Palis, Teddy Thomas, Remi Lamerat, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Virimi Vakatawa, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Machenaud; Marco Tauleigne, Yacouba Camara, Wenceslas Lauret, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Arthur Iturria, Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Jefferson Poirot. Reserves: Adrien Pelissie, Eddy Ben Arous, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Louis Picamoles, Baptiste Serin, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall.