France head coach Guy Novès has unveiled his squad for the upcoming 2017 Six Nations, with 32 players called up, reports Planet Rugby
Among the surprise selections is Toulouse centre Yann David, whose last cap for France came against the All Blacks back in 2009.
Two uncapped players named in the squad include La Rochelle’s Mohamed Boughanmi and Brive back-row Fabien Sanconnie.
“Our players must continue to work hard, and they know that, to compete with the best,” assistant coach Yannick Bru said.
“We must be able to remain accurate even when playing at high intensity. When you are pushed by the opponent you commits errors, it is inescapable. We must be able to maintain a clear head when ours hearts are beating hard.”
Backs coach Jeff Dubois also revealed that France will be working hard on their ability under the high ball ahead of facing England at Twickenham.
Dubois said: “We in turn must make more use of our kicking game as an attacking weapon. But there’s another area, which is not necessarily always seen, where we must progress: our play when we don’t have the ball, even if the movement of our players on the pitch is better. We’ve found new gaps, even against the most watertight defences.
“They will try to put pressure on us. We must use this weapon offensively. But it is without the ball, which we do not necessarily see, where we must also progress.
“The cohesion between our attackers is improving, and the fact that our centres play in a club set (Lamerat and Fofana at Clermont) gives us cohesion. Gaël (Fickou) is also on the pace. We have choices.”
France squad for the Six Nations
Forwards: Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing 92), Mohamed Boughanmi (La Rochelle), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Loann Goujon (Bordeaux-Bègles), Kevin Gourdon (La Rochelle), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Raphaël Lakafia (Stade Français), Julien Le Devedec (Brive), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Clément Maynadier (Bordeaux-Bègles), Louis Picamoles (Northampton Saints), Fabien Sanconnie (Brive), Rabah Slimani (Stade Français), Sébastien Vahaamahina (Clermont)
Backs: Djibril Camara (Stade Français), Yann David (Toulouse), Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Gaël Fickou (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Rémi Lamerat (Clermont), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Noa Nakaitaci (Clermont), Geoffrey Palis (Castres), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Bègles), Scott Spedding (Clermont), Virimi Vakatawa (FFR)