Jelonch to lead fresh-faced France squad in Australia

Back-rower Anthony Jelonch will lead an inexperienced France squad on their summer tour of Australia.

Back-rower Anthony Jelonch will lead an inexperienced France squad on their summer tour of Australia.

The 24-year-old started two of France’s matches in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, away in Ireland and at home to Scotland, while he was in the matchday 23 for all five matches as Les Bleus finished as runners-up for the second year running.

Fabien Galthié has included 22 uncapped players in his 42-man squad, with France deprived of their Top 14 finalists, while a number of players have been rested following a long season.

That provides an opportunity to some youngsters, as Jelonch is set to captain the tour squad, with three Tests planned over the course of ten days in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Elsewhere in the squad, Damian Penaud, Gabin Villière and Teddy Thomas will battle it out for an opportunity on the wing, while full-back Anthony Bouthier has broken into the side over the past two seasons.

Despite the absence of injured skipper Charles Ollivon and No.8 Grégory Alldritt, there are still some exciting options in the back row. Jelonch is joined by Lyon’s Dylan Cretin, with whom he shared starting duties during the Championship, while Cameron Woki and Sekou Macalou both impressed in last year’s Autumn Nations Cup.

In the absence of Romain Ntamack and Matthieu Jalibert, Louis Carbonel, a two-time World Rugby Under-20s champion, should get his opportunity at fly-half, while in the centres he is joined by Arthur Vincent and Jonathan Danty, among others.

Of the uncapped players included, there is experience with the likes of Racing 92 scrum-half Teddy Iribaren, as well as the potential of centre Tani Vili, back-rower Ibrahim Diallo and lock Florent Vanverberghe.

France squad for the summer tour of Australia:

AZAGOH Pierre-Henri (Stade Français Paris) BAMBA Demba (Lyon OU) BARASSI Pierre-Louis (Lyon OU) BARLOT Gaëtan (Castres Olympique) BÉCOGNÉE Alexandre (Montpellier HR) BOUTHIER Anthony (Montpellier HR) BUROS Romain (Union Bordeaux-Bègles) CARBONEL Louis (RC Toulon) CAZEAUX Cyril (Union Bordeaux-Bègles) CORDIN Gervais (RC Toulon) COUILLOUD Baptiste (Lyon OU) CRETIN Dylan (Lyon OU) DANTY Jonathan (Stade Français Paris) DIALLO Ibrahim (Racing 92) ETRILLARD Anthony (RC Toulon) FALATEA Sipili (AS Clermont Auvergne) FISCHER Alexandre (AS Clermont Auvergne) FORLETTA Enzo (Montpellier HR) FOURCADE Etienne (AS Clermont Auvergne) GERACI Killian (Lyon OU) GROS Jean-Baptiste (RC Toulon) HASTOY Antoine (Section Paloise) HERITEAU Julien (RC Toulon) HOUNKPATIN Wilfrid (Castres Olympique) IRIBAREN Teddy (Racing 92) JAMINET Melvyn (USA Perpignan) JELONCH Anthony (Castres Olympique) LE BAIL Clovis (Section Paloise) MACALOU Sekou (Stade Français Paris) PENAUD Damian (AS Clermont Auvergne) PESENTI Baptiste (Section Paloise) RAKA Alivereti (AS Clermont Auvergne) SEGONDS Joris (Stade Français Paris) SOBELA Patrick (Lyon OU) TAOFIFENUA Romain (RC Toulon) THOMAS Teddy (Racing 92) VANVERBERGHE Florent (Castres Olympique) VILI Tani (AS Clermont Auvergne) VILLIÈRE Gabin (RC Toulon) VINCENT Arthur (Montpellier HR) WALCKER Quentin (USA Perpignan) WOKI Cameron (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)