June 5, 2017 / 8:08 PM / in a year

Rugby: Two changes to French touring party in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - France drafted experienced fly half Francois Trinh-Duc and lock Paul Jedrasiak into their touring party in South Africa to replace the injured duo of Camille Lopez and Arthur Iturria, the French rugby federation said on Monday.

Trinh-Duc, a 30-year-old who has 58 caps, made a return in March against Wales after breaking his arm against Samoa last year but was originally left out of the 35-man squad for the three tests. He was scheduled to arrive in Johannesburg on Tuesday after it was decided to rest Lopez following Sunday’s French Top 14 final, where he helped Clermont Auvergne beat Toulon 22-16 at the Stade de France in Paris.

Lopez’s teammate Iturria was injured in the match and will be replaced by Jedrasiak, who came on for Clermont early on in the final.

The 24-year-old Jedrasiak has won six caps, the last against Italy in March.

Also arriving late on Tuesday was French coach Guy Noves; captain Guilhem Guirado, Xavier Chiocci and Romain Taofifenua, all on the losing side with Toulon on Sunday, as well as Damian Penaud and South African-born full back Scott Spedding from the winning Clermont side.

The first test is at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday followed by two more in Durban (June 17) and Johannesburg (June 24).

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by xx

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