France boss Fabien Galthie has been quickest out of the blocks ahead of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, announcing his squad of 37 players who will prepare for the February 6 opening round match away to Italy at Stadio Olimpico.
Fresh from an encouraging autumn programme that culminated in a second-place 2020 Six Nations finish and taking England to extra-time at Twickenham in the final of the Autumn Nations Cup, Galthie’s latest squad shows he is willing to experiment some more in his second calendar year in charge.
Three uncapped players have made the first France squad of 2021, winger Donovan Taofifenua and prop Georges-Henri Colombe of Racing and Stade Francais centre Julien Delbouis.
Of the injured, Romain Ntamack, Demba Bamba and Cameron Woki all miss out but Francois Cros is part of the selection which Galthie hopes can win the Six Nations for France for the first time since 2010.
The squad which has Antoine Dupont as its heartbeat will train in Nice from January 25 to February 5 before flying to Rome to open a championship schedule that has them away to Ireland in Dublin in round two on February 14. They will then play Scotland at home and England away before finishing with a March 20 game in Paris versus Wales.
? Début d'un nouveau chapitre !
Voici le groupe des 37 joueurs convoqués pour le Tournoi des @SixNationsRugby 2021 !
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) January 11, 2021
FRANCE 2021 SIX NATIONS SQUAD
FRONT ROW: Uini Atonio (34 caps), Cyril Baille (23), Pierre Bourgarit (3), Camille Chat (30), Georges-Henri Colombe (0), Jean-Baptiste Gros (5), Mohamed Haouas (7),, Hassane Kolingar (2), Julien Marchand (9);
SECOND ROW: Killian Geraci (2), Bernard Le Roux (44), Baptiste Pesenti (2), Swan Rebbadj (1), Romain Taofifenua (20), Paul Willemse (12);
BACK ROW: Gregory Alldritt (18), Dylan Cretin (5), Francois Cros (8), Anthony Jelonch (4), Charles Ollivon (18), Selevasio Tolofua (1);
SCRUM-HALF: Baptiste Couilloud (5), Antoine Dupont (27), Baptiste Serin (39);
OUT-HALF: Louis Carbonel (2), Matthieu Jalibert (8);
CENTRE: Julien Delbouis (0), Gael Fickou (58), Virimi Vakatawa (27), Arthur Vincent (7);
WINGERS: Damian Penaud (17), Donovan Taofifenua (0), Teddy Thomas (22), Gabin Villiere (2);
FULL-BACK: Anthony Bouthier (6), Brice Dulin (31), Thomas Ramos (14).
"Watching England win 53-0 against Scotland is not a great advert for women’s rugby."
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 11, 2021
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