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Morgan Parra The Only Shock Omission As France Name Strong Six Nations Squad

Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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France are the first team to announce their training squad for the RBS Six Nations championship this year. Head coach Phillipe Saint Andre has gone with a reduced squad of just 31 players. The temptation may be to include a bigger number than usual in a World Cup year, but Saint Andre looks as though he's chosen his 31 players that he will bring to England.

The biggest omission is Clermont Auvergne's Morgan Parra, who was one of the best scrumhalves in the world before injuries struck him down in the last few years. There's no coincidence that France's decline in the global standing has coincided with Parra's absence from the national side.


Clermont lock Sebastian Vahaamahina is another surprise omission. The 23 year old second row had been a fixture in French national squads recently and is highly thought of.

Despite naming only two hookers and two scrumhalves, this is a French squad that should strike fear into opponents. They are blending in some youth with some key players, and will be relying on Theirry Dusautoir to stay healthy, unlike in last year's Six Nations.

The wing options that include Teddy Thomas, Noa Nakaitaci, Yoann Huget and Soiane Guioune are players with the capacity for moments of magic and are a throwback to the days of French flair. It remains to be seen if Saint Andre will allow that flair to realise it's full potential.

The French Squad in full:

1: Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing Metro), Alexandre Menini (Stade Francais)
2: Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont)
3: Nicolas Mas (Montpeiller), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais)
4: Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon)
5: Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Toulon)
6: Bernard le Roux (Racing Metro)
7: Theirry Dusautoir (Toulouse) (C), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse)
8: Damien Chouly (Clermont), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Charles Ollivon (Bayonne)
9: Rory Kockott (Castres), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Toulon)
10: Camille Lopez (Clermont), Remi Tales (Castres)
11: Noa Nakaitaci (Clermont), Teddy Thomas (Racing Metro)
12: Wesley Fofana (Clermont) Alexandre Dumoulin (Racing Metro), Remi Lamerat (Castres)
13: Mathieu Basteraud (Toulon)
14: Sofiane Guitoune (Bordeaux-Begles), Yoann Huget (Toulouse)
15: Brice Dulin (Racing Metro), Scott Spedding (Bayonne)


Photo Credit/ Stephen McCarthy

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