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France look to youth in Galthié’s first squad

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France look to youth in Galthié’s first squad

France look to youth in Galthié’s first squad

Fabien Galthié has selected a youthful France squad including Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack. ©Inpho

  • Charles Ollivon named captain of new-look France squad
  • 19 uncapped players included in 42-man squad
  • Just one player aged 30 or more for Championship which kicks off at home to England

Fabien Galthié has placed his faith in youth after naming his 42-man squad for the Guinness Six Nations with 19 uncapped players.

Charles Ollivon, the Toulon back-rower, has been named captain and will succeed Guilhem Guirado who retired after the World Cup in Japan.

And Ollivon will lead a very young side, with just one player who has turned 30, and a number who have been part of the France Under-20s side that have won each of the last two age group world titles, including Louis Carbonel, fly-half for both of those.

There are new faces at every level, with Toulon duo Anthony Etrillard and Jean-Baptiste Gros in the front row alongside Montpellier tighthead Mohamed Haouas.

In the second row double Under-20 world champion Killian Geraci gets his first call-up at senior level, along with Bordeaux’s Cyril Cazeaux and Racing’s Boris Palu.

And in the back row there are four new inclusions, Lyon’s Dylan Cretin, Clermont’s Alexandre Fischer, Toulouse No.8 Selevasio Tolofua and Bordeaux flanker Cameron Woki, as well as a recall for Sekou Macalou.

It is a similar story in the backs, with Bordeaux scrum-half Maxime Lucu and Carbonel in line for their first caps, while Matthieu Jalibert will look to add to his solitary cap, having shone this season since returning from injury.

They will face stern competition from the first-choice pair in Japan, Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.

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In the centres, World Cup starting duo Gaël Fickou and Virimi Vakatawa are joined by Toulon’s Julien Hériteau and 2019 Under-20s skipper Arthur Vincent.

And it is in the back three that there is perhaps the biggest overhaul with Lester Etien, Gervais Cordin and Gabriel Ngandebe all included on the wing, while Kylan Hamdaoui and Anthony Bouthier join Thomas Ramos as the three full-backs.

That means there is no room for experienced campaigners Maxime Médard and Yoann Huget, but Teddy Thomas is recalled.

Les Bleus will kick off the Championship at home to England at the Stade de France before welcoming Italy to Paris a week later.

Le Crunch will be Galthié’s first chance to show what he can do with a new squad that features 2019 Grand Slam-winning defence coach Shaun Edwards.

France squad for the Guinness Six Nations:

Front row

  • Dorian ALDEGHERI – 26 – 4 caps – Stade Toulousain
  • Cyril BAILLE – 26 – 17 caps – Stade Toulousain
  • Demba BAMBA – 21 – 7 caps – Lyon OU
  • Camille CHAT – 24 – 26 caps – Racing 92
  • Anthony ETRILLARD – 26 – 0 caps – RC Toulon
  • Jean-Baptiste GROS – 20 – 0 caps – RC Toulon
  • Mohamed HAOUAS – 25 – 0 caps – Montpellier Hérault Rugby
  • Julien MARCHAND – 24 – 2 caps – Stade Toulousain
  • Jefferson POIROT – 27 – 33 caps – Union Bordeaux-Bègles

Second row

  • Cyril CAZEAUX – 24 – 0 caps – Union Bordeaux-Bègles
  • Killian GERACI – 20 – 0 caps – Lyon OU
  • Bernard LE ROUX – 30 – 37 caps – Racing 92
  • Boris PALU – 23 – 0 caps – Racing 92
  • Romain TAOFIFENUA – 29 – 14 caps – RC Toulon
  • Paul WILLEMSE – 27 – 3 caps – Montpellier Hérault Rugby

Back row

  • Grégory ALLDRITT – 22 – 11 caps – Stade Rochelais
  • Dylan CRETIN – 22 – 0 caps – Lyon OU
  • François CROS – 25 – 2 caps – Stade Toulousain
  • Alexandre FISCHER – 21 – 0 caps – ASM Clermont Auvergne
  • Sekou MACALOU – 24 – 1 cap – Stade Français Paris
  • Charles OLLIVON – 26 – 11 caps – RC Toulon
  • Selevasio TOLOFUA – 22 – 0 caps – Stade Toulousain
  • Cameron WOKI – 21 – 0 caps – Union Bordeaux-Bègles

Scrum-halves

  • Antoine DUPONT – 23 – 20 caps – Stade Toulousain
  • Maxime LUCU – 26 – 0 caps – Union Bordeaux-Bègles
  • Baptiste SERIN – 25 – 33 caps – RC Toulon

Fly-halves

  • Louis CARBONEL – 20 – 0 caps – RC Toulon
  • Matthieu JALIBERT – 21 – 1 cap – Union Bordeaux-Bègles
  • Romain NTAMACK – 20 – 12 caps – Stade Toulousain

Centres

  • Gaël FICKOU – 25 – 51 caps – Stade Français Paris
  • Julien HERITEAU – 25 – 0 caps – RC Toulon
  • Virimi VAKATAWA – 27 – 21 caps – Racing 92
  • Arthur VINCENT – 20 – 0 caps – Montpellier Hérault Rugby

Wingers

  • Gervais CORDIN – 21 – 0 caps – RC Toulon
  • Lester ETIEN – 24 – 0 caps – Stade Français Paris
  • Gabriel NGANDEBE – 22– 0 caps – Montpellier Hérault Rugby
  • Damian PENAUD – 23 – 16 caps – ASM Clermont Ferrand
  • Vincent RATTEZ – 27 – 3 caps – Stade Rochelais
  • Teddy THOMAS – 26 – 16 caps – Racing 92

Full-backs

  • Anthony BOUTHIER – 27 – 0 caps – Montpellier Hérault Rugby
  • Kylan HAMDAOUI – 25 – 0 caps – Stade Français Paris
  • Thomas RAMOS – 24 – 9 caps – Stade Toulousain