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'Unpleasant emotions': The 12-strong reserves list named by France

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

France boss Fabien Galthie didn’t just name his official squad of 33 on Monday for the upcoming Rugby World Cup – he also named a 12-strong reserves list that will remain in camp until Wednesday, with some of those potentially remaining involved through to Sunday if required for the final Summer Nations Series match versus Australia in Paris.  

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Having shared a two-game series with Scotland and then got the better of Fiji in an August programme that came with the devastating development that was Romain Ntamack’s cruel ACL injury versus the Scots in Saint-Etienne, Galthie has now unveiled his squad for the finals which begin on September 8 versus New Zealand at Stade de France.  

He also confirmed his plan B, a list of standby players he will look to call on if someone drops out injured over the course of the tournament.

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In the meantime, he asked this dozen-strong list to set aside their “unpleasant emotions” and help the official squad to be fully ready for the Wallabies and ensure France head into the World Cup on the back of another victory.  

Included in the reserves list is Ethan Dumortier, the Lyon winger who started all five matches for the French in this year’s Guinness Six Nations. His omission from the official 33 highlighted how competitive RWC selection was in certain areas of the team.  

The other 11 players on standby are: Props Sebastien Taofifenua (Lyon), Thomas Laclayat (Racing 92) and Demba Bamba (Lyon), hooker Gaetan Barlot (he didn’t take part in the summer preparation due to a hernia operation but is now a reservist), Montpellier locks Bastien Chalureau and Florian Verhaegue, back-rowers Dylan Cretin (Lyon) and Yoan Tanga (La Rochelle), scrum-half Baptiste Serin (Toulon), centre Emilien Gailleton (Pau) and full-back Brice Dulin (La Rochelle). 

At his media briefing where he confirmed the identity of the 33 tasked with attempting to win the World Cup for France on home soil, Galthie explained the rationale behind naming a secondary team of 12. “What we ask of these 12, we are aware that it is not easy,” he admitted.  

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“That is a proposal that has been made to them. On Sunday, we asked them each if, despite the unpleasant emotions felt by not being on the list, they are able to continue their journey with us until Wednesday, and maybe Sunday according to the composition against Australia.  

“It’s not an easy challenge but we rely on them, and we consider that they are ready to enter the bus at any time. They have been prepared to meet this challenge at all times.” 

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