Quick links: Rugby Video | Six Nations Rugby | Premiership Rugby | LV= Cup | Rugby Championship | Heineken Cup Rugby | Pro 12 Rugby | Super Rugby | Currie Cup Rugby | Rugby World Cup
 
 
 

Bastareaud set to play for France against Italy


Mathieu Bastareaud looks set to return to international rugby

Email Article | | Print Article | Click here for a free $150 Bet

Article Published: Tuesday 29 January 2013


France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has cut his squad from 33 to 24 for their Six Nation Championship opener against Italy in Rome with Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud set to play his first match for France in almost three years.

Third rower Thierry Dusautoir and prop Luc Ducalcon also were retained in a group which will ultimately be cut further down to 23 on Wednesday after Saint-Andre works out his options on the fitness of his third rowers, given current "uncertainties", according to a French statement.

Saint-Andre will unveil his starting 15 on Friday morning.

Bastareaud is in superlative form with Top 14 leaders Toulon, who also topped their European Cup pool to reach the quarter-finals, and is seemingly a reformed character since his move from Stade Francais.

His fall from grace there had been remarkable after he had been considered one of the brightest prospects both at club and international level.

Humiliatingly, he had to admit he lied over a late night incident on the 2009 tour of New Zealand where he claimed he sustained facial injuries after being assaulted on his way back to the team hotel.

It turned out he had fallen over a table in his room having returned in a drunken state.

Bastareaud nevertheless played a full role in the 2010 Six Nations Grand Slam campaign, starting all five games, but since then he has failed to add to his nine caps amid poor form and weight problems.

But now he is back in favour and ready to seize a new chance to shine.

Dusautoir, IRB player of the year in 2011, has not worn the blue shirt since the last Six Nations in which the French came a desultory fourth.

He was left off the subsequent tour of Argentina and then missed out in the November tests owing to a knee injury.

But now the Toulouse forward is likely to claim a starting berth with Montpellier's Fulgence Ouedraogo nursing an ankle injury.

Racing Metro's Ducalcon last featured at the 2011 World Cup but also makes the squad, while Saint-Andre has given a vote of confidence to 22-year-old second row Romain Taofifenua, who has just one cap to date.

France squad

Forwards: Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Metro), Luc Ducalcon (Racing-Metro), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais, capt), Romain Taofifenua (Perpignan), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)

Backs: Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Metro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Toulon), François Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Benjamin Fall (Racing-Metro), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Florian Fritz (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon

 
 
Heineken Cup Rugby News
Aviva Premiership
Anglo Welsh Cup News
Sale Sharks v Wasps Anglo Welsh LV= Cup preview
Sale Sharks captain Daniel Braid will make his first start since the opening day of the season against Wasps on Saturday at the AJ Bell Stadium in the Anglo Welsh LV Cup on Saturday.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Saracens vs Quins Anglo Welsh LV= Cup preview
Northampton vs Newcastle LV= Cup preview
L.Irish v Leicester Anglo Welsh LV= Cup preview

More Anglo Welsh Cup News

Six Nations Rugby
Under fire Johnson gets backing from bosses
Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson has denied claims that Scott Johnson has been rewarded for failure after Scotland's miserable 2014 Six Nations campaign.
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
England's Brown wins Six Nations best player
Scotland fullback Hogg gets three week ban
Warburton to be out of action for 'several months'

More Six Nations Rugby News

 
Rugby Week Sponsor
 
 
Latest Rugby video