World Cup marker for Trinh-Duc
Wed, 28 May 2014 21:13
Flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc has been given a World Cup boost despite being overlooked by France coach Philippe Saint-Andre for next month's tour to Australia.
The Montpellier play-maker was left out of Saint-Andre's 31-man squad announced on May 7 for the three-match tour against the Wallabies, but he has now surprisingly been included in a 30-man "France XV Group" of players who will have the number of matches they play over the coming season restricted.
Ahead of the 2015 World Cup in England, France are restricting this group of players to a maximum of 30 matches from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015.
Those matches included friendlies, international matches and club commitments - excluding the European Rugby Champions Cup knock-out rounds and Top 14 play-offs.
The aim is to avoid injuries from over-exertion ahead of the World Cup.
France's first choice hooker Dimitri Szarzewski of Racing-Metro will miss the Australia tour after injuring his ankle in April in what was his 31st match of this season.
Trinh-Duc's inclusion came as something of a surprise given that he has started only five France matches since Saint-Andre took over the reins ahead of the 2012 Six Nations.
Having been Saint-Andre's predecessor Marc Lievremont's undisputed first choice No.10, initially Trinh-Duc battled with Frederic Michalak for a starting role before falling behind the likes of Camille Lopez and now Remi Tales in the pecking order.
He even found himself behind young Stade Francais flyhalf Jules Plisson during the Six Nations when Tales and Lopez were both injured, while Michalak, having not played a single minute during the last Six Nations, was recalled as Tales's understudy for the tour to Australia.
All three are in the 30-man list, which includes 18 forwards and 12 backs, but Plisson is not.
Neither is Toulouse centre Florian Fritz, although uncapped Castres centre Remi Lamerat is.
France XV Group:
Forwards: Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Metro), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Antonie Claassen (Castres), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Antoine Burban (Stade Francais), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Bernard Le Roux (Racing-Metro), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier).
Backs: Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Metro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Toulon), Remi Tales (Castres), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Remi Lamerat (Castres), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Hugo Bonneval (Stade Francais), Brice Dulin (Castres), Yoann Huget (Toulouse).
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