photo credit – The Telegraph
In celebratory mood for what is a world cup year, the international rugby calendar opens with the Guinness six nations on 1st February and first piece of news coming out is that the Federation of French Rugby (FFR) has named its team for the Six nations.
Having endured a weird 2018 international campaign that saw them hit their lowest point when they lost to Fiji, France will be glad to welcome back the industry of centre Gael Fickou who returns just in time to make the squad to challenge among the elite of the European nations and prepare themselves for the Japan showdown later in the year.
Jacques Brunel has also included five uncapped players in his team ; Toulouse backs Romain Ntamack and Thomas Ramos, Toulouse prop Dorian Aldegheri, La Rochelle back-rower Gregory Alldritt and Montpellier lock Paul Willemse.
Injuries to the likes of Teddy Thomas, Cedate Gomes Sa and Yoann Maestri may have forced Brunel’s hand slightly but the coach can still call on the likes of skipper Guilhem Guirado, No.8 Louis Picamoles, scrum-half Morgan Parra and centre Mathieau Bastareaud to provide experience.
Brunel has named a 31 man squad, calling back a wealth of experience as he understands that it will be key in a year when everything is more at stake than usual.
The full French 31 man squad for the six Nations
Forwards: Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Dany Priso (La Rochelle), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Demba Bamba (Brive), Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse); Félix Lambey (Lyon), Sébastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Paul Willemse (Monpellier), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Yacouba Camara (Montpellier), Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier).
Backs: Morgan Parra (Clermont), Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Anthony Belleau (Toulon); Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Geoffrey Doumayrou (La Rochelle), Romain Ntamack (Toulouse); Gael Fickou (Paris), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Damian Penaud (Clermont); Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse)