Mathieu Bastareaud surprisingly left out of France squad
Mathieu Bastareaud has been left out of the 31-man France Six Nations squad
The 27-year-old Toulon centre has 39 caps for Les Bleus
France starts their Six Nations campaign against Italy in Paris on 6 February
Toulon Centre Mathieu Bastareaud has been surprisingly left out of the 31-man France squad for the 2016 Six Nations.
The 27-year-old Toulon centre, who has 39 caps, had been omitted from two previous informal gatherings but now it’s confirmed he will play no part for Les Bleus during the Six Nations.
Newly-appointed France coach Guy Noves has urged his players to ‘try and reach unexpected limits’ during the four years leading up to the next World Cup in Japan.
“We tried to prepare a France group that, for the most part, will go along with us over the next four years,” Noves said.
“Hopefully we will be able to please the fans. The players need to be aware that we represent France. (Aiming to) make people happy is something normal.”
Novès has also sprung a surprise by naming France Sevens wing Virimi Vakatawa in his final squad.
The winger had impressed for France Sevens in the two Sevens World Series events so far this season in Dubai and Cape Town.
Previously contracted by Racing 92, the 23-year-old qualified to play for France in 2013.
After two training camps the new boss has settled on a squad of 31 to finalise his preparations ahead of their first game against Italy on February 6.
under his predecessor, France also went through four unimpressive years marked by a last-place finish in the Six Nations and a style of rugby that lacked fluidity and movement.
Les Bleus will now be looking to bounce back following their embarrassing 62-13 defeat to New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in October.
France kicks off their Six Nations campaign against Italy in the French Capital on 6th February with Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado their new captain.
Forwards: Uini Atonio, Eddy Ben Arous, Antoine Burban, Yacouba Camara, Camille Chat, Damien Chouly, Alessandre Flanquart, Kevin Gourdon, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Paul Jedrasiak, Wenceslas Lauret, Yoann Maestri, Louis Picamoles, Jefferson Poirot, Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina
Backs: Sebastien Bezy, Hugo Bonneval, Jonathan Danty, Jean-Marc Doussain, Alexandre Dumoulin, Benjamin Fall, Gael Fickou, Wesley Fofana, Remi Lamerat, Maxime Machenaud, Maxime Medard, Morgan Parra, Jules Plisson, Scott Spedding, Virimi Vakatawa