Vakatawa and Doussain make France cut, Bastareaud remains in exile


Virimi Vakatawa and Jean-Marc Doussain have been included in a 31-man training squad for France's Six Nations campaign, but Mathieu Bastareaud failed to make the cut.

Guy Noves is about to take charge of his first Six Nations campaign since replacing Philippe Saint-Andre, and the former Toulouse coach has promised an attacking approach with a youthful squad.

Fly-half Doussain, who made the last of his 10 France appearances in the 2014 Six Nations, returns, while the uncapped Vakatawa is called upon after impressing in Sevens rugby.

However, Bastareaud's future with the national team remains shrouded in doubt after the 39-capped centre was once again omitted having missed out on a squad for a training day last month.

"We want to build a team which will allow us to work in continuity. If we take players who will not be there in two or three years, it's like a waste of time," Noves told a news conference.

"Mathieu Bastareaud is a talented player, everyone can see it. Have we not called Mathieu because his talent was not enough? No.

"But the true question is whether he can suit our project. First we try to see young players who have not yet appeared in the France team. Like Jonathan Danty for example.

"If we need Bastareaud in the future, we will take him. But we did a choice for this list. That's it."

There are eight uncapped players in the squad, with Stade Francais centre Danty and Vakatawa joined by front-rowers Camille Chat and Jefferson Poirot, lock Paul Jedrasiak, scrum-half Sebastien Bezy and back-rowers Yacouba Camara and Kevin Gourdon.

France start their Six Nations campaign at home to Italy on February 6.


France training squad:

Forwards: Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing 92), Antoine Burban (Stade Francais), Yacouba Camara (Toulouse), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Damien Chouly (Clermont Auvergne), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Kevin Gourdon (Atlantique Stade Rochelais), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Paul Jedrasiak (Clermont Auvergne), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais) Sebastian Vahaamahina (Clermont Auvergne).

Backs: Sebastien Bezy (Toulouse), Hugo Bonneval (Stade Francais), Jonathan Danty (Stade Francais), Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulous), Alexandre Dumoulin (Racing 92), Benjamin Fall (Montpellier), Gael Fickou (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), Remi Lamerat (Castres), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne), Jules Plisson (Stade Francais), Scott Spedding (Clermont Auvergne), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92).