France make five changes for second Test

Daniel Gilhooly
Mathieu Babillot is one of five changes for France's second Test against New Zealand in Wellington

France have pinned their hopes on club form after announcing five changes to their starting team for the second Test against the All Blacks.

Coach Jacques Brunel deemed the three players involved in the Top 14 club final on June 2 would be off limits for last week's first Test in Auckland, which the tourists lost 52-11.

All three slot straight into his XV on Saturday at Westpac Stadium, including both flankers.

Victorious Castres forward Mathieu Babillot and beaten Montpellier counterpart Kelian Galletier have replaced Fabien Sanconnie and Judicael Cancoriet on the side of the scrum.

Montpellier fullback Benjamin Fall usurps veteran Maxime Medard at fullback.

The two players involved in contentious moments at Eden Park have both made way.

Remy Grosso suffered a fractured skull when hit high in a double-tackle from Sam Cane and Ofa Tu'ungafasi that didn't result in any punishment beyond a penalty, sparking heated debate.

Grosso, who has been given medical clearance to fly home on Thursday, is replaced by Gael Fickou.

Lock Paul Gabrillagues, who was considered unlucky to receive a yellow card for a relatively mild high tackle, is on the reserves bench. His starting spot goes to South African-born Bernard Le Roux.

Two players introduced to the bench are front-rowers Pierre Bourgarit and Cedate Gomes Sa.

Hooker Bourgarit, 20, is in line for a Test debut.

FRANCE: Benjamin Fall, Teddy Thomas, Mathieu Bastareaud (capt), Geoffrey Doumayrou, Gael Fickou, Anthony Belleau, Morgan Parra, Kevin Gourdon, Kelian Galletier, Mathieu Babillot, Yoann Maestri, Bernard Le Roux, Uini Atonio, Camille Chat, Dany Priso. Res: Pierre Bourgarit, Cyril Baille, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Alexandre Lapandry, Baptiste Serin, Jules Plisson, Maxime Medard.