France's Penaud given the nod ahead of Thomas for Ireland game

Damian Penaud came off the bench in France's first win of the Six Nations tournament against Italy. Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

France coach Fabien Galthie has made two changes to the team who beat Italy as he prepares for what he called "chaos" against Ireland at the Aviva stadium in the Six Nations on Sunday.

Anthony Jelonch comes in for Dylan Cretin in the third row and Damian Penaud starts for Teddy Thomas on the wing as Galthie looks to adapt to the Irish game after making an explosive start to the championship with a 50-10 win against the Azzurri.

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"Teddy played a very good game in Rome but Damian and [fellow winger] Gabin Villiere are better to handle high balls and the pressure the Irish will put on the wings," Galthie told a news conference on Friday.

"Anthony Jelonch is a player who gets better as the intensity increases. The harder it gets, the better he gets."

France beat Ireland in their last encounter in last year's Six Nations, but they have not won in Dublin since an international test in 2011.

Galthie believes France, who are back among the top nations after eight wins in 10 tests producing some impressive rugby with the help of awe-inspiring scrum-half Antoine Dupont, will be under intense pressure in Dublin.

"We need to be solid in chaos," he added. "We've been preparing for everything but we need to be ready for the unexpected.

"We're on a path, we will get better, we will improve and we're already better than last year. The team is getting more depth."

To Galthie's surprise, Ireland named a team without usual halfbacks Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton and lock James Ryan.

Sexton and Ryan were replaced due to suspected concussions during last week's opening 21-16 loss to Wales while Murray picked up a hamstring injury during training.

Those absences, which Galthie heard about after naming his own team, will not change France's strategy.

"I wish them a speedy recovery," Galthie added. "The replacements [Billy Burns and Jamison Gibson Park] are the ones who finished the game in Wales.

"The scrum-half doesn't have the same profile as Murray but his kicking game is very accurate. He's very dangerous, we'll have to be wary of him around the rucks."

France team

Brice Dulin, Damian Penaud, Arthur Vincent, Gael Fickou, Gabin Villiere, Matthieu Jalibert, Antoine Dupont, Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon (captain), Anthony Jelonch, Paul Willemse, Bernard Le Roux, Mohamed Haouas, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille.

Replacements: Pierre Bourgarit, Hassane Kolingar, Uini Atonio, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Anthony Boutier, Teddy Thomas.