The French Rugby Federation have annouced their 37 man training squad for this autumn’s world cup in Japan leaving out former skipper Mathieu Bastareaud.
The 30 year old centre who has been capped 54 times and captained Les Bleus in the absence of regular skipper Gilhem Guirado is one of a small group of players many believed would could have been involved in the World Cup and not omitted at such an early stage.
Also missing out on selection is Racing 92 winger Teddy Thomas and La Rochelle Prop forward Uini Atonio, while Scrum half Morgan Parra is also ruled out due to an ankle injury, he sustained playing against Clermont some weeks ago.
Both Bastareaud and Parra where part of the side that lost the World Cup quarter final to eventually winners New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup, while Parra would have been looking for his third go at the tournament after featuring in the 2011 event.
Speaking about the omission when the squad was annouced Head Coach Jacques Brunel admitted form had some part to play in Bastareaud’s missing out as he told reporters;
“He [Bastareaud] is in a position full of competition with players in form. I'm thinking of Sofiane Guitoune who has been very good. I wasn't sure if Guitoune could keep up his form during the whole season but he did.”
However, Brunel who is one of the many International coach’s stepping down at the end of the World Cup has decided to go with a Toulouse dominated 31 man squad with another six on standby as he prepares for his last few months in charge.
The Top 14 champions have no less than 7 players in the squad which also contains three debutants Toulouse prop forward Peato Mauvaka, Toulon Prop Emerick Setiano and Clermont winger Alivereti Raka.
Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Priso (La Rochelle), Guirado (Toulon, capt), Chat (Racing 92), Mauvaka (Toulouse), Setiano (Toulon), Slimani (Clermont), Bamba (Brive), Vahaamahina (Clermont), Lambey (Lyon), B Le Roux (Racing 92), Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), Iturria (Clermont), Y Camara (Montpellier), Lauret (Racing 92), Alldritt (La Rochelle), Picamoles (Montpellier)
A Dupont (Toulouse), Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), Machenaud (Racing 92), Ntamack (Toulouse), Lopez (Clermont), Fofana (Clermont), Fickou (Stade Francais), Doumayrou (La Rochelle), Guitoune (Toulouse), Huget (Toulouse), Penaud (Clermont), Raka (Clermont), Ramos (Toulouse), Medard (Toulouse)
Falgoux (Clermont), Ollivon (Toulon), F Cros (Toulouse), Willemse (Montpellier), Belleau (Toulon), Rattez (La Rochelle)
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