France have been dealt an personnel blow as they continue their preparations for the upcoming Six Nations campaign.

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Montpellier wing Vincent Rattez was called into Fabien Galthie’s 37-man squad on Monday to cover for Toulouse utility back Thomas Ramos, who has been ruled unavailable for France’s opening Six Nations clash against Italy in three weeks.

The French Rugby Federation has not yet specified the reason behind Ramos’ unavailability, but it leaves Les Bleus without the 25-year-old, who has mainly been used as a fullback in his 14 tests to date, from their training camp in Nice.

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Galthie, though, has a capable replacement in Rattez, who was a notable omission from the initial announcement of the enlarged training squad.

The eight-test wing becomes the fifth Montpellier player to join the squad, alongside prop Mohamed Haouas, lock Paul Willemse, midfielder Arthur Vincent and fullback Anthony Bouthier.

France will be aiming to build on their second-placed finishes in both the Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup last year as they look to build some form leading into their home World Cup in two years’ time.

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