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Ollivon heads up hugely changed 42-man France squad in Japan

By Kim Ekin
Charles Ollivon and Luke Pearce /Getty

Toulon loose forward Charles Ollivon leads a 42-man France team chosen on Monday by coach Fabien Galthie for two Tests against Japan next month.

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Matthieu Jalibert, Melvyn Jaminet, Damien Penaud, and Virimi Vakatawa are among the other seasoned campaigners on the group, which also includes 17 uncapped players.

Only Ollivon, who led the Barbarians to a 52-21 victory over England last weekend, Penaud, Vakatawa, and prop Demba Bamba have more than 20 caps.

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Eddie Jones reacts to big loss to Barbarians | England vs Barbarians | Press Conference

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Eddie Jones reacts to big loss to Barbarians | England vs Barbarians | Press Conference

Galthie had already stated that a number of high-profile players, including the majority of the Six Nations Grand Slam-winning squad, would not be picked in order to give them some break.

It means that players like Antoine Dupont, the World Player of the Year, and his Toulouse teammate Romain Ntamack will miss the trip to Japan.

Players from the Top 14 final between Montpellier and Castres on June 24 are also absent.

On July 2 in Aichi and July 9 in Tokyo, France will face Japan.

France squad:
Forwards: Jean-Baptiste Gros, Dany Priso, Matis Perchaud, Sipili Falatea, Demba Bamba, Dorian Aldegheri, Thomas Laclayat, Pierre Bourgarit, Peato Mauvaka, Christopher Tolofua, Thomas Lavault, Thomas Jolmes, Remi Picquette, Swan Rebbadj, Thibaud Flament, Bastien Vergnes-Taillefer, Sekou Macalou, Ibrahim Diallo, Matthias Haddad, Yoan Tanga, Dylan Cretin, Charles Ollivon, Selevasio Tolofua.

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Backs: Maxime Lucu, Baptiste Couilloud, Nolann Le Garrec, Antoine Hastoy, Matthieu Jalibert, Louis Carbonel, Tani Vili, Virimi Vakatawa, Yoram Moefana, Louis Le Brun, Damian Penaud, Jules Favre, Matthis Lebel, Remy Baget, Enzo Reybier, Aymeric Luc, Melvyn Jaminet, Max Spring, Romain Buros.

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Flankly 3 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

If rugby wants to remain interesting in the AI era then it will need to work on changing the rules. AI will reduce the tactical advantage of smart game plans, will neutralize primary attacking weapons, and will move rugby from a being a game of inches to a game of millimetres. It will be about sheer athleticism and technique,about avoiding mistakes, and about referees. Many fans will find that boring. The answer is to add creative degrees of freedom to the game. The 50-22 is an example. But we can have fun inventing others, like the right to add more players for X minutes per game, or the equivalent of the 2-point conversion in American football, the ability to call a 12-player scrum, etc. Not saying these are great ideas, but making the point that the more of these alternatives you allow, the less AI will be able to lock down high-probability strategies. This is not because AI does not have the compute power, but because it has more choices and has less data, or less-specific data. That will take time and debate, but big, positive and immediate impact could be in the area of ref/TMO assistance. The technology is easily good enough today to detect forward passes, not-straight lineouts, offside at breakdown/scrum/lineout, obstruction, early/late tackles, and a lot of other things. WR should be ultra aggressive in doing this, as it will really help in an area in which the game is really struggling. In the long run there needs to be substantial creativity applied to the rules. Without that AI (along with all of the pro innovations) will turn rugby into a bash fest.

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