France put trust in Ntamack for 6N decider

·2-min read

Romain Ntamack will start at flyhalf for France in one of five changes for their Six Nations Championship decider against Scotland.

In their team for Friday's big finale in Paris, Ntamack steps in for Matthieu Jalibert, who hurt his jaw in last Saturday's dramatic 32-30 win against Wales.

Both those teams are still in contention for the title, although 2019 champions Wales remain the favourites despite missing out on the grand slam.

France, who have not won the title since 2010, need a bonus-point win and a 21-point margin of victory - or a 20-point victory and at least six tries - to pip Wales.

If France get a bonus-point win by exactly 20 points and score five tries, then the title would be shared for the first time since France and Wales were co-winners of the old Five Nations in 1988.

Coach Fabien Galthie has put his faith in Ntamack, who was among France's best players last year and did well when he came on for Jalibert during the first half against Wales.

"Ntamack made a winning return for us last weekend, and he was very solid in a funny kind of game," Galthie said when naming his team on Wednesday.

"He made good decisions and showed all of his talent. He will be running the game for us."

Galthie has changed his second row with locks Bernard Le Roux and Swan Rebbadj replacing Romain Taofifenua and Paul Willemse, who is suspended following his red card against Wales.

The coach has also dropped winger Teddy Thomas and called up Arthur Vincent to centre.

Gael Fickou moves out of midfield and onto the left wing in place of Thomas, while Damian Penaud crosses over to the right wing in a positional switch.

The last change sees Anthony Jelonch preferred to Dylan Cretin at blindside flanker.

Galthie has made a surprising choice on the bench, leaving out flyhalf Louis Carbonel and instead using versatile fullback Anthony Bouthier as his flyhalf cover for Ntamack.

Scotland are fourth in the Six Nations but can finish second if they win by at least eight points and deny France a try bonus point.

"The match against France provides us with an opportunity to finish the Six Nations in our highest position," Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said.

Flyhalf Finn Russell returns to their side as one of four changes from the 52-10 rout of Italy last Saturday.

Captain Stuart Hogg filled in for Russell against Italy but returns to fullback while Sean Maitland is dropped from the squad.

A new halves pairing sees Ali Price come in for Scott Steele, while Chris Harris replaces Huw Jones in midfield and hooker George Turner comes in for David Cherry.