France have made three changes to their 31-strong squad that will prepare for the round three Guinness Six Nations match against Scotland on February 28, including a recall for prop Demba Bamba who earned the last of his 14 caps in the November Autumn Nations Cup win over Scotland.
Fresh from away wins over Italy and Ireland, the fixture versus the Scots will be the first home game of the campaign for the Grand Slam-chasing French who are seeking to win a first Six Nations title since 2010.
Fabien Galthie has called up 31 players to assemble next Sunday for their third match this month and there are three alterations to what he has worked with during recent weeks. Hassane Kolingar, Baptiste Pesenti and Dorian Aldegheri have all left the France group and they have been replaced by Jean-Baptiste Gros, Swan Rebbadj and Bamba.
The squad announcement on Wednesday afternoon rounded off a tricky few days for the French as it was confirmed earlier in the day that assistant coach William Servat had become the third member of the management team to test positive for Covid-19.
The French rugby federation had announced on Tuesday that Les Bleus head coach Galthie had tested positive, while one other unnamed person also produced a positive test. All the players, though, returned a further complete round of negative tests.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 17, 2021
“Additional PCR tests will be carried out at home on Friday, as well as Sunday in the evening as soon as the players and staff arrive at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis,” read a French rugby federation media release. “Once the tests are completed, everyone will be placed in isolation awaiting the results.”
FRANCE SQUAD (vs Scotland)
FORWARDS: Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon), Mohamed Haouas (Montpellier); Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse); Killian Geraci (Lyon), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Swan Rebbadj (Toulon), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon), Paul Willemse (Montpellier); Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Dylan Cretin (Lyon), Anthony Jelonch (Castres), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Cameron Woki (Bordeaux-Begles);
BACKS: Sebastien Bezy (Clermont), Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Baptiste Serin (Toulon); Louis Carbonel (Toulon), Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Begles); Gael Fickou (Stade Francais), Pierre-Louis Barassi (Lyon), Arthur Vincent (Montpellier); Damian Penaud (Clermont), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Gabin Villiere (Toulon); Anthony Bouthier (Montpellier), Brice Dulin (La Rochelle).
"Galthie has got everything at his disposal to make that team as successful as England have become under Eddie Jones"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 13, 2021
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now