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Fickou and five uncapped players headline France’s Guinness Six Nations training squad

Fickou and five uncapped players headline France’s Guinness Six Nations training squad

Fit-again Gael Fickou is part of the 31-man France training squad, along with five uncapped players, named for the start of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations.

Fickou has been brilliant in the centres for club side Stade Francais this season and on his return from injury last weekend, he made 104 metres with ball in hand, beat 12 defenders and completed 15 tackles – as well as notching a fine individual try – against Perpignan.

The 24-year-old will hope to add to his seven tries in 41 international matches in this year’s Championship – where France begin by hosting Wales in Paris on Friday February 1.

Jacques Brunel has also named five uncapped players in his 31-man group – Toulouse backs Romain Ntamack and Thomas Ramos, Toulouse prop Dorian Aldegheri, La Rochelle back-rower Gregory Alldritt and Montpellier lock Paul Willemse.

Injuries to the likes of Teddy Thomas, Cedate Gomes Sa and Yoann Maestri may have forced Brunel’s hand slightly but the coach can still call on the likes of skipper Guilhem Guirado, No.8 Louis Picamoles, scrum-half Morgan Parra and centre Mathieu Bastareaud to provide experience.

Having missed the 2018 Championship due to an ankle injury, fly-half Camille Lopez is also fit once again and included as one of 14 backs.

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Les Bleus will convene in Marcoussis on January 20 for a training camp before facing Wales less than a fortnight later.

Forwards: Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Dany Priso (La Rochelle), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Demba Bamba (Brive), Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse); Félix Lambey (Lyon), Sébastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Paul Willemse (Montpellier), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Yacouba Camara (Montpellier), Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier).

Backs: Morgan Parra (Clermont), Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Anthony Belleau (Toulon); Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Geoffrey Doumayrou (La Rochelle), Romain Ntamack (Toulouse); Gael Fickou (Paris), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Damian Penaud (Clermont); Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse)