Marc Lièvremont has named his squad for World Cup in September, picking one new cap and leaving many more experienced internationals at home for the tournament. The French head coach alluded to this during the Six Nations after France’s performances were infuriatingly inconsistent, and as a result established names in European Rugby such as Yannick Jauzion, Clement Poitrenaud and the iconic Sebastian Chabal will be left behind.
The two most surprising additions into the the squad are number eight Raphaël Lafakia, the 22 year old number eight from Biarritz who has impressed in the Top 14 this season, and the return of French legend Cedric Heymans in the back three. Heymans for me has been a class act consistently throughout his career, for confirmation have a look at this, and he will bring a security to the French back three as well as hopefully some classy tries. Thomas Domingo and Maxime Mermoz have both been named in the squad despite suffering serious injuries over the last few months, and both are key to France’s plan for the World Cup, particulary Mermoz who was in some outstanding form before his injury during the Six Nations against Scotland.
Here is the full list of names:
Front Row: Fabian Barcella (Biarritz), Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Luc Ducalcon (Castres), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Français), William Servat (Toulouse), Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Français).
Second Row: Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Lionel Nallet (Racing Metro 92), Pascal Papé (Bourgoin), Julien Pierre (Clermont)
Back Row: Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir, captain (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Raphaël Lafakia (Biarritz), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse).
Half-Backs: Morgan Parra (Clermont), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), David Skrela (Toulouse), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier).
Centres: Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), David Marty (Perpignan), Fabrice Estebanez (Brive), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont).
Back Three: Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Alexis Palisson (Brive), Yoann Huget (Bayonne), Maxime Médard (Toulouse), Cedric Heymans (Toulouse), Damien Traille (Biarritz)
Is this squad good enough to win the World Cup? Let us know your thoughts.