France name Fijian Nakaitaci in Six Nations squad

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre called up Fijian wing Noa Nakaitaci in an extended squad that will prepare for the Six Nations which kicks off in February.

Twenty-four-year-old Nakaitaci has been playing rugby in France for Clermont since 2010 when he moved from the Nadroga academy in Fiji.

Nakaitaci toured with France in 2013 to New Zealand but only featured in a match against Super Rugby side the Blues and missed all three Test matches.

“Nakaitaci can make a difference. He’s progressed a huge amount and has played a lot this season,” said Saint-Andre.

“He’s becoming one of the best wing three-quarters in French rugby.”

The 31-man group, which will convene in Caney-en-Roussillon in the Pyrenees region from January 25, also sees No.8 Louis Picamoles, props Eddy Ben Arous and Rabah Slimani, centre Remi Lamerat and Algerian-born wing Sofiane Guitoune earn recalls.

“Louis has been in great form for Toulouse,” said Saint-Andre about Picamoles.

“We have three No.8s in the group (including Damien Chouly and Charles Ollivon) but they are three No.8s who can play at flanker and are powerful.”

Racing-Metro full-back Brice Dulin is recalled after missing the November internationals through injury while Toulon lock Romain Taofifenua comes back in after suspension.

Those who’ve missed out, however, include hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, props Xavier Chiocci and Thomas Domingo, scrum-halves Morgan Parra and Maxime Machenaud, centre Maxime Mermoz, and wings Maxime Medard and Benjamin Fall.

South African-born trio Rory Kockott, Scott Spedding and Bernard Le Roux all maintained their places in the group alongside New Zealand born prop Uini Atonio.

France squad:

Forwards (17):

Eddy Ben Arous (Racing-Metro), Alexandre Menini (Toulon), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Bernard Le Roux (Racing-Metro), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Charles Ollivon (Bayonne), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)

Backs (14):

Rory Kockott (Castres), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Toulon), Remi Tales (Castres), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Remi Lamerat (Castres), Alexandre Dumoulin (Racing-Metro), Teddy Thomas (Racing-Metro), Sofiane Guitoune (Bordeaux-Begles), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Noa Nakaitaci (Clermont), Brice Dulin (Racing-Metro), Scott Spedding (Bayonne)

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