Mathieu Bastareaud will not be part of this year’s rugby World Cup after the Toulon centre was left out of France’s 37-man squad on Tuesday.
Bastareaud, who was Les Bleus’s vice-captain during a disappointing Six Nations campaign, did not feature in the list of 31 and the six standby players who will start preparation for the tournament from June 25th. The World Cup will be held in Japan from September 20th to November 2nd.
Experienced scrumhalf Morgan Parra, wing Teddy Thomas and prop Uini Atonio were also left out of the squad selected by coach Jacques Brunel and assistant Fabien Galthie.
Galthie will take over as head coach from Brunel after the World Cup.
Toulouse centre Sofiane Guitoune looks set to prosper from Bastareaud’s absence, while Brunel has included uncapped players in Guitoune’s club colleague Peato Mauvaka, and Toulon prop Emerick Setiano.
“We have followed (Sofiane) Guitoune all year,” Brunel told L’Equipe. “He performed very well.
“We did not know if he would produce the (form). He did it all year long. The group is rejuvenated with many players who are 25 years and under, but there are still players with experience with (Yoann) Huget, (Wesley) Fofana and (Maxime) Medard.”
France are in the same World Cup pool as England, Argentina, the United States and Tonga.
France squad: G Alldritt (La Rochelle), D Bamba (Brive), Y Camara (Montpellier), C Chat (Racing 92), G Doumayrou (La Rochelle), A Dupont (Toulouse), G Fickou (Stade Francais), W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), P Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), G Guirado (Toulon), S Guitoune (Toulouse), Y Huget (Toulouse), A Uturria (Clermont Auvergne), F Lambey (Lyon), W Lauret (Racing 92), B Le Roux (Racing 92), C Lopez (Clermont Auvergne), M Machenaud (Racing 92), P Mauvaka (Toulouse), M Medard (Toulouse), R Ntamack (Toulouse), D Penaud (Clermont Auvergne), L Picamoles (Montpellier), J Poirot (Bordeax-Begles), D Priso (La Rochelle), A Raka (Clermont Auvergne), T Ramos (Toulouse), B Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), E Setiano (Toulon), R Slimani (Clermont Auvergne), S Vahaamahina (Clermont Auvergne).
Reserves: A Belleau (Toulon), F Cros (Toulouse), E Falgoux (Clermont Auvergne), C Ollivon (Toulon), V Rattez (La Rochelle), P Willemse (Montpellier).