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Two Uncapped Players In French 22.

Two Uncapped Players In French 22.

France coach Bernard Laporte has
included uncapped Toulouse hooker William Servat and Bourgoin lock Pascal Pape in his squad for the Six Nations opener v Ireland.

France coach Bernard Laporte has
included uncapped Toulouse hooker William Servat and Bourgoin lock Pascal Pape in a
22-man squad to play Ireland in the Six Nations opener in Paris on
February 14th.

New Zealand-born centre Tony Marsh, struggling with injury, was
but veteran loosehead prop Jean-Jacques Crenca and left wing
were surprisingly retained.

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South African-born Pieter De Villiers, suspended from the 2003 Six
tournament after testing positive for recreational drugs, wins a
He missed last year’s World Cup in Australia after breaking a
collar bone
when he fell off a bike in the Alps during France’s training camp.

Toulouse scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, left wing Vincent
Biarritz flanker Thomas Lievremont who were not selected for the
World Cup,
are also recalled.

South African-born Brian Liebenberg, a controversial World Cup
kept his place after performing well as a backup in Australia.

Elissalde, half-back partner to Frederic Michalak for Toulouse,
will be
competing with Biarritz scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili, the understudy
of retired
captain Fabien Galthie all last season, for the No 9 shirt.

Veteran lock Fabien Pelous successfully came through his comeback
match for
Toulouse against Edinburgh in the European Cup over the weekend and
will lead
the side.

The 30-year-old, who has been capped 86 times, captained France 15
between 1997 and 2002 and took over from Galthie when the scrum-half
injured for the last three matches of the 2003 Six Nations.
“These are the best players we have at our disposal,”
France manager Jo
“We are keen to get off to a good start in the Six Nations
which will tell
us a lot of things in the aftermath of the World Cup.
We are out to win the Six Nations and that means we must
send out the best
team possible against Ireland.”

It was Laporte’s first selection announcement since the traumatic
24-7 loss
to England in the World Cup semi-final in Sydney on November 16.
Although criticised for his tactics in that game and for allowing
morale in
the French camp to deteriorate afterwards, Laporte retained his
position and
has been named as coach for the next four years taking France though
to the
next World Cup finals which they will host.

France Six Nations squad to play Ireland:
Pieter De Villiers (Stade Francais), Yannick Bru (Toulouse),
Marconnet (Stade Francais), Jean-Jacques Crenca (Agen), William
(Toulouse), Fabien Pelous (Toulouse, capt), David Auradou (Stade
Pascal Pape (Bourgoin), Olivier Magne (Montferrand), Imanol
(Pau), Serge Betsen (Biarritz), Thomas Lievremont (Biarritz)
Nicolas Brusque (Biarritz), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Pepito
(Agen), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Brian Liebenberg (Stade
Francais), Damien
Traille (Pau), Jean-Baptiste Elissalde (Toulouse), Dimitri Yachvili
(Biarritz), Frederic Michalak (Toulouse), Christophe Dominici (Stade