France re-call 15 players ahead of Ireland clash

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France have recalled 15 players into their squad this week, ahead of the mouth-watering clash with Ireland on Saturday.

France have recalled 15 players into their squad this week, ahead of the mouth-watering clash with Ireland on Saturday.

Les Bleus defeated Italy 37-10 on Sunday to get their Guinness Six Nations campaign off to the perfect start, but this weekend they host an Ireland team on a nine-Test unbeaten streak, dating back to France’s 15-13 win at the Aviva Stadium at this stage in last year’s Championship.

They will also be re-joined by head coach Fabien Galthié, who missed the match with the Azzurri on Sunday with Covid-19.

Galthié and his coaching team re-called 14 players – seven forwards and seven backs to the squad on Sunday, but were forced into two further changes on Monday.

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Uncapped prop Daniel Bibi Biziwu, who was re-called on Sunday, was replaced by Dany Priso after returning a positive Covid-19 test, while centre Jonathan Danty, who impressed against Italy, is replaced by uncapped Lyon youngster Léo Berdeu after suffering from an ankle injury.

Priso is joined by a large La Rochelle contingent, as Paul Boudehent, Thomas Lavault, Jules Favre and Brice Dulin all joined up with Les Bleus on Sunday.

There is also a strong Racing 92 showing, as uncapped duo Yoan Tanga and Donovan Taofifénua are joined by Ibrahim Diallo, who made his debut in the summer against Australia, as well as superstar centre Virimi Vakatawa.

Thibaud Flament, who played in all three Autumn Nations Series matches, is joined by fellow Toulouse youngster Matthis Lebel while dynamic Stade Français back-row Sekou Macalou is also re-called.

Exciting prospects Antoine Hastoy and Tani Vili are also added to the squad, looking to earn their first caps for France.

All eyes will be on who joins Gaël Fickou in the centres after Danty’s injury ruled him out.

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In the Autumn Nations Series, France opted for a mixture of Romain Ntamack shifting to inside centre with Matthieu Jalibert at fly-half and Vakatawa playing outside Fickou with Ntamack at fly-half.

Ntamack played outside Jalibert against both Argentina and Georgia, but in the incredible 40-25 win against New Zealand, Ntamack returned to fly-half, with Danty and Fickou in the centres.

Galthié has options, so it will be interesting to see who makes up the French midfield when the team is announced on Thursday.

Players recalled to France squad:


Dany Priso (La Rochelle)

Paul Boudehent (La Rochelle)

Ibrahaim Diallo (Racing 92)

Thibaud Flament (Toulouse)

Thomas Lavault (La Rochelle)

Sekou Macalou (Stade Français)

Yoan Tanga (Racing 92)


Jules Favre (La Rochelle)

Donovan Taofifénua (Racing 92)

Brice Dulin (La Rochelle)

Antoine Hastoy (Pau)

Matthis Lebel (Toulouse)

Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92)

Tani Vili (Clermont Auvergne)

Leó Berdeu (Lyon)