Lopez drops out of France squad for SA tour

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 10:56
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NEWS: Clermont flyhalf Camille Lopez will not join up with the France squad for their upcoming tour of South Africa, instead being rested after a long season, his coach Guy Noves said on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Lopez, who has won 16 caps for his country, will feature for Clermont in Sunday's French Top 14 finale against Toulon.

He was due to join up with Les Bleus in South Africa next week, but will now not travel. And Noves will not call up a replacement, for now anyway.

"For the moment, I prefer to wait," Noves told AFP, confirming an earlier report by sports daily L'Equipe.

The coach had already chosen not to call up two of Lopez's Clermont colleagues in centre Remi Lamerat and loose forward Damien Chouly.

Lopez has become a first-choice for his country since François Trinh-Duc picked up an injury playing against Samoa in November, but Sunday's final will be his 31st match of the season. Seven of those matches have been for France.

France play three test matches against the Springboks on June 10 in Pretoria, June 17 in Durban and June 24 in Johannesburg.

The Toulon trio of Xavier Chiiocci, Guilhem Guirado and Romain Taofifenua and Clermont's Arthur Iturria, Damian Penaud and Scott Spedding will join up with the France squad in South Africa after the Top 14 Final.

France squad - revised:

Forwards: Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing 92), Mohamed Boughanmi (La Rochelle), Yacouba Camara (Toulouse/Montpellier), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Xavier Chiocci (Toulon), Loann Goujon (Bordeaux-Begles), Kevin Gourdon (La Rochelle), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Anthony Jelonch (Castres), Julien Le Devedec (Brive), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Clement Maynadier (Bordeaux-Begles), Louis Picamoles (Northampton/ENG), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais/Clermont), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon).

Backs: Nans Ducuing (Bordeaux-Begles), Henry Chavancy (Racing 92), Jonathan Danty (Stade Francais), Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Brice Dulin (Racing 92), Antoine Dupont (Castres), Gael Fickou (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Jules Plisson (Stade Francais), Vincent Rattez (La Rochelle), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), Scott Spedding (Clermont), Virimi Vakatawa (FFR).

Agence France-Presse