ASM Clermont Auvergne prop Etienne Falgoux, who featured in three of the French club’s European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 1 games, has been handed a first Test start by France head coach Jacques Brunel on Saturday.
The 26-year-old will win his third cap in the No.1 shirt against Italy in Rome and joins two other team-mates in the France XV in wing Damian Penaud and centre Wesley Fofana.
Fofana is recalled after recovering from injury in what will be his final Six Nations Championship match, as the 31-year-old, who has scored two tries in two Challenge Cup matches this season, has announced that 2019 will be his final year of international rugby.
All three will be looking forward to lining up for Clermont against Northampton Saints in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals on March 31 at Stade Marcel-Michelin, along with lock Arthur Iturria and fly-half Camille Lopez, who are on the bench in Rome.
— ASM Rugby (@ASMOfficiel) March 14, 2019
The same day, La Rochelle entertain Bristol Bears in their quarter-final at Stade Marcel Deflandre and they may have two current France squad players in their side in flanker Gregory Alldritt and prop Dany Priso.
Alldritt is given his first Test start in Rome after winning four caps as a replacement, while Priso retains his berth on the replacements’ bench.
Both played key roles in helping La Rochelle finish top of Pool 4, with Alldritt scoring three tries in five games and Priso winning the man-of-the-match award and scoring a try against Zebre Rugby Club in one of his three pool appearances.