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24.07.2018 09:57
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PARIS -- France will look to teen centre Gael Fickou to provide the creative spark against an Ireland team desperate to give Brian ODriscoll a perfect send-off in their final Six Nations match on Saturday, with both teams still in contention to win the tournament. After several substitute appearances, the 19-year-old Fickou makes his first start of the campaign as one of four changes to face an Irish team full of attacking menace after scoring 13 tries so far. The midfield contest between Fickou and the 35-year-old ODriscoll promises to be an intriguing one between the worlds most capped player and one looking to become a future great. "The speed and youth of Gael Fickou gives us some interesting options. Hes in form and we need to see him express his talent," France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said. "It will be a real challenge for him and Mathieu Bastareaud against a good pair of centres. But we believe in him. Hes settled in our squad now and is feeling good both mentally and physically." Fickou, who scored a dramatic late winning try in the 26-24 win over England, replaces Maxime Mermoz, ineffective in last weekends 19-17 win at Scotland, while the other change in the backs sees flyhalf Remi Tales replacing Jules Plisson. France, Ireland and England -- which plays in Italy -- have six points each and can all still win the tournament. Ireland has by far the best points differential (+81) of the three title contenders, while France has the worst (+3) behind England (+32). France has to beat Ireland and hope England draws or loses in Rome to stand a realistic chance of winning the trophy. "We will try and put in a great performance, and if we manage to please our fans it will be a bonus," Saint-Andre said. "Were preparing ourselves for a match of the highest level after drawing the last two seasons against them." History counts against Ireland in Paris, where they havent won since 2000, but they have an extra incentive this time. ODriscoll makes his 141st test appearance in a brilliant 15-year career on the same ground where he scored a hat trick of tries in 2000 to give Ireland its first victory in Paris since 1972. "We dont want to make it ODriscolls party," Saint-Andre said. Fourteen years ago, a fresh-faced ODriscoll burst onto the international scene with three expertly-taken tries in Irelands 27-25 win, his blend of speed, flair, safe hands and attacking instinct marking him out as one of the players for the future. Fickou now finds himself in a similar position and is earmarked as a future great. Last weekend, ODriscoll pushed back the years with one of his best performances in the green jersey of Ireland. Although he did not add to his 46 international tries, he played a part in three of his teams first four tries in a crushing 46-7 win over Italy at Lansdowne Road. "Hes a great player, and hes been a great servant to Irish rugby and to world rugby. When he arrived on the scene at Stade de France, he was an unknown and he scored three tries," Saint-Andre said. "He could have been French because he had incredible flair, a capacity to keep the ball alive, to make a pass after contact. He captained the British Lions, he captained Ireland and hes brought so much to world rugby." Tales will line up alongside scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud in the 12th halves pairing Saint-Andre has selected since taking over from Marc Lievremont after France lost the 2011 World Cup final to New Zealand. Saint-Andre was disappointed with Plissons defending against Scotland. "Plissons statistics in defence were not good enough," Saint-Andre said. The two changes in the forwards see Dimitri Szarzewski returning from injury to replace Brice Mach and Louis Picamoles reinstated at flanker in place of Sebastien Vahaamahina. France won its opening two matches of the tournament but then lost 27-6 at Wales before edging past Scotland in another error-strewn performance lacking in creativity. "If I have to take the blame for it then so be it, but leave my players out of it," Saint-Andre said. France was previously dominant in the scrum but has struggled to get to grips with rule changes and has also been ineffective in the lineouts. "The problem rests with us, we have to concentrate on our throws and our jumps," No. 8 Damien Chouly said. "We must be more demanding of ourselves and each other." Saint-Andre said that Picamoles and Chouly will switch positions during the match. ------ France: Brice Dulin, Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Gael Fickou, Maxime Medard, Remi Tales, Maxime Machenaud; Damien Chouly, Alexandre Lapandry, Louis Picamoles, Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape (captain), Nicolas Mas, Dimitri Szarzewski, Thomas Domingo. Reserves: Guilhem Guirado, Vincent Debaty, Rabah Slimani, Alexandre Flanquart, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Wenceslas Lauret, Jean-Marc Doussain, Maxime Mermoz. Corey Seager Jersey . Head coach Lindy Ruff confirmed on Sunday that his starting goalie has a head injury and the team will take it day by day. Chris Taylor Jersey . Clevelands manager had just watched his team lose 5-3 to Kansas City, which completed a 2-6 homestand and dropped the Indians 2 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central. http://www.baseballdodgersproshop.com/customized/. Mesoraco hurt his hamstring while scoring from second in Friday nights 5-4 loss at Atlanta. Chapman was hit by a line drive during an exhibition game on March 19, breaking his nose and a bone above his left eye. The left-hander looked strong while throwing 43 pitches in batting practice before Saturday nights game against the Braves. Dodgers Gear . - Derek Wolfe says hes finally healthy after suffering a seizure in November that doctors now believe was related to the spinal cord injury he suffered in the preseason. Dodgers Jerseys . Halak did not get the start in the Washington Capitals Tuesday night game against the St. NEW YORK -- Claimed off waivers in spring training last year, Brad Mills toiled in Triple-A for a couple of teams and even went to Japan before getting another shot in the big leagues. No wonder he fits in so naturally on the roster full of castoffs and vagabonds that has Oakland on top of the standings. "I definitely fit that mould, you know? Been all over the place," Mills said Wednesday night after beating the New York Mets 8-5 for his first major league victory in almost two years. "Being only five or six days of being here, its very comfortable. I feel like a very big part of the team." Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run double, slumping Brandon Moss had a two-run homer and the As jumped all over an ineffective Zack Wheeler in the first two innings. Coco Crisp homered and had three hits as the AL West leaders built an eight-run cushion for Mills, who took a shutout into the seventh. "I think hes got a good little mix right there that keeps guys off balance really well," Moss said. Oakland, with only a couple of homegrown players, rebounded from its most lopsided loss of the season to split the two-game interleague series, boosting the best record in baseball to 48-30. Mills (1-0) was obtained from Milwaukee for cash last week when fellow left-hander Drew Pomeranz went on the disabled list after breaking his right hand when he punched a chair in frustration. Mills, who had a 1.56 ERA for Triple-A Nashville at the time of the trade, lasted four innings in his As debut last Friday against Boston. He was backed by some fine defence in this one and did not walk a batter over 6 1-3 innings, overcoming some early leg cramps on the way to his fourth big league win. The previous one came on July 8, 2012, when he threw five innings for the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-0 victory over Baltimore. "He did a great job," Moss said. "He definitely fits in. These guys, our front office here, they do their homework before they go and get a guy." Sean Doolittle struck out all three hitters in the ninth for his 11th save, extending his scoreless streak to 25 1-3 innings. He has retired 37 of his last 38 batters -- and racked up 53 strikeouts against one walk in 37 innings this season. Pinch-hitter Lucas Duda chased Mills with a three-run homer in the seventh. Chris Young connected for a two-run shot in the eighth, his third home run in two nights. Curtis Granderson added three hits for the Metts, who had won three straight and five of six.dddddddddddd It was their sixth three-game winning streak of the season, but they havent won four in a row since July 7-10 last year. Wheeler (3-8) followed up the best outing of his brief career with his worst. "He just didnt bounce back," manager Terry Collins said. "He struggled with all of his pitches. ... I have never seen him get hit that hard." Coming off a three-hitter in a 1-0 win at Miami last Thursday, his first complete game in the majors, the 24-year-old Wheeler had command problems right away. He missed badly with his first two pitches in the first inning to Moss, who drove the next one deep into the second deck in right field for his 18th home run. Wheeler issued a leadoff walk to Josh Reddick in the second and another free pass after Crisps RBI single. Cespedes followed by lining a bases-loaded double down the left-field line to make it 6-0. Convinced the As were picking up signs, Wheeler called catcher Travis dArnaud out to the mound and struck out the next two batters. "They were onto my signs in the second. Its my fault for not catching onto it sooner. The next few pitches after we changed them up were good. When somebody turns on a 96 mph fastball, they probably knew it was coming," Wheeler said. "It was just a bad outing." When the Mets loaded the bases in the bottom half, Wheeler was lifted for a pinch-hitter. He was tagged for six hits and a career-high six earned runs in two innings, the shortest of his 33 career starts. Crisp hit a solo homer in the fourth off Dana Eveland. "Cocos our igniter. Usually when were playing well, hes playing well," manager Bob Melvin said. NOTES: Derek Norris was held out of Oaklands starting lineup for the second consecutive night after leaving Sundays game when he was hit in the head by a backswing. He entered behind the plate in the ninth. Before the game, Melvin said Norris was feeling better and was on target to start Friday night in Miami. ... The As clinched their 13th consecutive winning month, tying the longest streak in Oakland history (1970-72). The previous team to have a run that long was Boston (July 2004 to July 2006). ... After the game, New York optioned backup infielder Wilmer Flores to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for CF Juan Lagares (right ribcage), who will be activated from the disabled list Thursday before the Mets open a four-game series in Pittsburgh. Cheap Jerseys Store China Jerseys White NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Youth NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Stitched Jerseys China NFL Gear ' ' '

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