France recall their 'beast' for All Blacks

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:12
Large bastareaud

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: France recalled the biggest centre in the world for their one-off Test against New Zealand next month.

Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud was recalled to the France squad by coach Guy Noves on Wednesday for the upcoming year-end internationals, starting with the November 11 clash against world champion All Blacks.

The 29-year-old last played for his country at the 2015 World Cup, although he was called up as cover during this year's Six Nations without making an appearance.

"Mathieu looks calm right now, he has made progress in certain areas and is performing 80 percent of the time on the whole. He is naturally coming back," said Noves, whose team was swept 3-0 by South Africa in June.

Toulouse second-rower Yoann Maestri was omitted from the 32-man squad for the All Blacks showdown in Paris, with the France vice-captain instead on a secondary list of 14 players for another match against New Zealand three days later in Lyon.

France will also play South Africa on November 18 before hosting Japan a week later.

France squad:

Forwards: Antoine Guillamon (Montpellier), Daniel Kotze (Castres), Clement Maynadier (Bordeaux-Begles), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon, captain), Christopher Tolofua (Saracens), Rabah Slimani (Clermont), Raphael Chaume (Clermont), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Felix Lambey (Lyon), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier), Kevin Gourdon (La Rochelle), Judicael Cancoriet (Clermont), Anthony Jelonch (Castres), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Marco Tauleigne (Bordeaux-Begles).

Backs: Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), Anthony Belleau (Toulon), Francois Trinh-Duc (Toulon), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Geoffrey Doumayrou (La Rochelle), Remi Lamerat (Clermont), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Gabriel Lacroix (La Rochelle), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Nans Ducuing (Bordeaux-Begles), Scott Spedding (Clermont).

Agence France-Presse