Wales were badly exposed up front by the Irish in their 36-15 defeat at Lansdowne Road and are sure to face more of the same from France in Cardiff. The Welsh camp, still recovering from the disappointment of that 36-15 in Dublin, played down the significance of Magne's demotion and instead hinted that they would target French playmaker Michalak who returns from injury.
"I'm not really surprised about that decision. With Magne playing the way he does I don't think that always fits in with the team's pattern," said Wales Assistant Coach, Scott Johnson. "It does look like they have gone for power rather than pace but the selection is a reflection on his (Magne's) style of playing rather than ours.
"One thing for sure is that whoever they bring in is going to be a quality player because the French are equal to New Zealand in terms of depth in strength available to them. I find the selection of Michalak surprising.
"People were saying two weeks ago that he had dislocated his shoulder, so that's a remarkable recovery. Well we'll see if it's dislocated on Sunday."
Michalak's return and the departure of Magne are the only changes to the side that beat Italy 25-0 in a less than convincing win in Paris. Imanol Harinodoquy shifts across to take Magne's place at openside and makes room for the inclusion of Lievremont. Magne is named amongst the replacements.
"People say they have a slow start but I don't think anyone should be fooled by that," added Johnson. "Unlike New Zealand, they just do enough to win the game. The All Blacks are fast track bullies and if they're expected to win by eighty, they'll score ninety, but all France are interested in is winning and once they have done that they've had enough.
"I think they were really depressed by the Rugby World Cup because you got the feeling that they genuinely thought that was their year. You can't get over a diappointment like that overnight.
"So we won't be lulled into a false sense of security by the last couple of performances. As the tournament progresses they will just get better and better but it's up to us to make sure that the final game in Paris is not a showdown to win the title.
"We're still in this Championship and still have to play the so-called 'big two' so we still have a say in what happens."