Bastareaud handed Six Nations lifeline
January 20, 2010
Mathieu Bastareaud is back in action with France © Getty Images
France coach Marc Lievremont has recalled controversial centre Mathieu Bastareaud to his squad for the Six Nations. Bastreaud has not featured in the national setup since causing a furore by fabricating an assault story when on tour in New Zealand last summer.
After victory over South Africa and a heavy loss to New Zealand in November Lievremont has shuffled his deck, dropping established back-three options Maxime Medard and Cedric Heymans, as well as overlooking the claims of Toulouse centre Florian Fritz and Stade fly-half Lionel Beauxis.
Clermont Auvergne captain Aurelien Rougerie is recalled, with Toulouse's Clement Poitrenaud given the nod ahead of his younger team-mate Medard. Jean-Baptiste Elissalde returns to the fold after injury and is joined by Bourgoin pivot Benjamin Boyet. There is no place for Frederic Michalak, leaving Elissalde with a run at Francois Trinh-Duc in the No.10 jersey.
Brive utility back Fabrice Estebanez has bagged a first call-up and Castres prop Luc Ducalcon gets another chance for a first cap after being selected in November and forced to withdraw through injury. Biarritz powerhouse Imanol Harinordoquy also returns from injury, but impressive Perpignan hooker Guilhem Guirado is omitted.
France squad for 2010 Six Nations:
Forwards: T Domingo (Clermont Auvergne), L Ducalcon (Castres), S Marconnet (Stade Francais), N Mas (Perpignan), W Servat (Toulouse), D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), S Chabal (Racing Metro), R Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), L Nallet (Racing Metro), P Pape (Stade Francais), J Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz), A Lapandry (Clermont Auvergne), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), L Picamoles (Toulouse)
Backs: JB Elissalde (Toulouse), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne), B Boyet (Bourgoin), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Bastareaud (Stade Francais), F Estebanez (Brive), Y Jauzion (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), V Clerc (Toulouse), B Fall (Bayonnais), J Malzieu (Clermont Auvergne), A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), A Palisson (Brive), C Poitrenaud (Toulouse)
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers