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France coach keeps faith with World Cup squad

Date
Same again ... Philippe Saint-Andre has kept faith with the French World Cup squad.

Same again ... Philippe Saint-Andre has kept faith with the French World Cup squad. Photo: AFP

New France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has kept faith with 22 members of the squad that reached the Rugby World Cup final in naming a 30-strong squad to prepare for the Six Nations tournament.

It was the former international winger's first selection since taking over from Marc Lievremont, who endured as torrid time in New Zealand before taking France to the World Cup final, where they lost 8-7 to the All Blacks.

Among those brought back into the squad were Toulouse backs Clement Poitrenaud and Lionel Beauxis, who both missed out on the trip to New Zealand, while two uncapped players - Toulouse lock Yoann Maestri and Clermont centre Wesley Fofana - get a first call up.

There was no place, however, for controversial Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud or Stade Francais scrum-half Julien Dupuy.

Toulouse back-row player Thierry Dusautoir, who was outstanding in the final against the All Blacks and was named IRB Player of the Year, retains the captaincy.

France open their Six Nations campaign against Italy at Stade de France on February 4.

France training squad, announced on Thursday, for 2012 Six Nations tournament

Forwards (17): Fabien Barcella (Biarritz), Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Luc Ducalcon (Castres), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse), William Servat (Toulouse), Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Franais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Franais), Julien Pierre (Clermont), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont)

Backs (13): Morgan Parra (Clermont), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), Lionel Beauxis (Toulouse), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Yann David (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Julien Malzieu (Clermont), Alexis Palisson (Toulon), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse)

AFP

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