French Rugby head coach Fabien Galthie has unveiled a 42-man training squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
As the host nation, expectations are high for Les Bleus who will get the tournament underway on September 8th against New Zealand at the Stade de France.
Headlining the notable additions are the experienced duo of scrumhalf Baptiste Serin and fullback Brice Dulin, neither of whom have featured for the national team in the past two years. Yet, despite this their exceptional club form for Toulon and La Rochelle respectively sees them recalled by Galthie.
Interestingly Galthie opted to leave out Toulouse lock Emmanuel Meafou who has yet to be made eligible for France by World Rugby. Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, the gargantuan enforcer had also caught the eye of Wallabies coach Eddie Jones. Having met with the Wallabies boss, Meafou reaffirmed his intention to represent France and was therefore not called up by the Wallabies.
Just two uncapped players have been called up to the squad in centre Emilien Gailleton and winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey.
Top 14 champions Toulouse lead the way in terms of players in the squad with ten whilst Heineken Champions Cup winners La Rochelle follow closely with nine representatives.
The squad will gather in Monaco on July 3rd before facing Scotland, Fiji and Australia in their warm-up games.
France World Cup training squad:
Forwards: Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon), Reda Wardi (La Rochelle), Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse), Thomas Laclayat (Racing), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Bastien Chalureau (Montpellier), Thibaud Flament (Toulouse), Romain Taofifenua (Lyon), Paul Willemse (Montpellier), Cameron Woki (Racing), Florian Verhaeghe (Montpellier), Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Paul Boudehent (La Rochelle), Francois Cros (Toulouse), Sekou Macalou (Stade Français), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Yoan Tanga (La Rochelle), Dylan Cretin (Lyon)
Backs: Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Maxime Lucu (Bordeaux-Begles), Baptiste Couilloud (Lyon), Baptiste Serin (Toulon), Antoine Hastoy (La Rochelle), Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Begles), Romain Ntamack (Toulouse), Jonathan Danty (La Rochelle), Gael Fickou (Racing), Yoram Moefana (Bordeaux-Begles), Emilien Gailleton (Pau), Arthur Vincent (Montpellier), Louis Bielle-Biarrey (Bordeaux-Begles), Ethan Dumortier (Lyon), Damian Penaud (Bordeaux-Begles), Gabin Villiere (Toulon), Brice Dulin (La Rochelle), Melvyn Jaminet (Toulouse), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse).