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Wounded France axe 3 players from matchday squad after Italy draw

By Josh Raisey
France's flanker Charles Ollivon (C) applauses the supporters after the Six Nations rugby union international match between France and Italy at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille, northern France, on February 25, 2024. (Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)

France have announced a 19-player squad that will remain in camp during this upcoming fallow week, with the rest returning to their clubs in the Top 14.

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Of the 19 players selected, 18 featured in the draw against Italy in the Guinness Six Nations on Sunday. Louis Bielle-Biarrey is the only player who did not feature in Lille, but was originally selected to play before being forced to pull out.

Fly-half Matthieu Jalibert is not part of the cohort after picking up a knee injury against the Azzurri, neither is centre Jonathan Danty as he awaits his disciplinary hearing this week following his red card.

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France 7s captain Paulin Riva on Antoine Dupont joining the 7s squad

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France 7s captain Paulin Riva on Antoine Dupont joining the 7s squad

The final three players from the matchday squad that have been sent back to their clubs are Toulouse winger Matthis Lebel, Lyon lock Romain Taofifénua and Toulon flanker Esteban Abadie.

Lebel started on the left wing after being a late replacement for Bielle-Biarrey, while both Taofifenua and Abadie played the final half-hour at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Match Summary

2
Penalty Goals
2
1
Tries
1
1
Conversions
1
0
Drop Goals
0
138
Carries
113
5
Line Breaks
4
19
Turnovers Lost
11
4
Turnovers Won
7

While being sent back to your club is not usually an encouraging sign for any player, they may breathe a sigh of relief that they will not be left with Fabien Galthie and Shaun Edwards this week following a fairly dismal showing against Italy to go with their poor displays so far this Championship.

With Les Bleus currently sitting in fourth place in the Six Nations table, the France camp may not be the place to be this week.

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France squad this week:
ALDEGHERI Dorian (Stade Toulousain)
ATONIO Uini (Stade Rochelais)
BAILLE Cyril (Stade Toulousain)
BIELLE-BIARREY Louis (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
BOUDEHENT Paul (Stade Rochelais)
CROS François (Stade Toulousain)
FICKOU Gaël (Racing 92)
LE GARREC Nolann (Racing 92)
LUCU Maxime (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
MARCHAND Julien (Stade Toulousain)
MAUVAKA Peato (Stade Toulousain)
MOEFANA Yoram (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
OLLIVON Charles (RC Toulon)
PENAUD Damian (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
RAMOS Thomas (Stade Toulousain)
ROUMAT Alexandre (Stade Toulousain)
TAOFIFENUA Sébastien (Lyon OU Rugby)
TUILAGI Posolo (USA Perpignan)
WOKI Cameron (Racing 92)

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