France squad named for Six Nations Grand Slam defence

France squad named for Six Nations Grand Slam defence

Star scrum-half Antoine Dupont will captain France

A 42-player France squad has been named for the upcoming Six Nations as they bid to become the first men’s team to win back-to-back Grand Slams.

Head coach Fabien Galthie has been left without several players due to injury, with forward Cameron Woki the latest casualty after fracturing his hand.

Centre Jonathan Danty, prop Jean-Baptiste Gros and hookers Peato Mauvaka and Pierre Bourgarit are also injured.

Eight uncapped players have been selected.

France, whose home World Cup starts in September, begin their Six Nations campaign in Italy on 5 February and are on a 13-match winning streak.

Centre Arthur Vincent and locks Killian Geraci and Florian Verhaeghe were also unavailable due to injury.

But back row Francois Cros and lock Paul Willemse return to the squad after missing the autumn series because of injury.

Bordeaux-Begles’ 19-year-old wing Louis Bielle-Biarrey is the only player in the group who has never been called up before.

His fellow uncapped players include centre Emilien Gailleton, who is also 19, and scrum-halves Leo Coly and Nolann Le Garrec, who will provide cover for captain Antoine Dupont.

Flanker Paul Boudehent, full-back Romain Buros and utility backs Julien Delbouis and Ethan Dumortier are also in line to make their debuts.

France squad in full

Forwards: Gregory Alldritt, Uini Atonio, Cyril Baille, Gaetan Barlot, Teddy Baubigny, Alexandre Becognee, Paul Boudehent, Yacouba Camara, Bastien Chalureau, Dylan Cretin, Francois Cros, Sipili Falatea, Thibaud Flament, Mohamed Haouas, Anthony Jelonch, Thomas Jolmes, Thomas Lavault, Sekou Macalou, Julien Marchand, Charles Ollivon, Dany Priso, Romain Taofifenua, Reda Wardi, Paul Willemse.

Backs: Pierre-Louis Barassi, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Romain Buros, Leo Coly, Julien Delbouis, Ethan Dumortier, Antoine Dupont (capt), Gael Fickou, Emilien Gailleton, Antoine Hastoy, Matthieu Jalibert, Melvyn Jaminet, Nolann Le Garrec, Matthis Lebel, Yoram Moefana, Romain Ntamack, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos.

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