Mathieu Bastareaud omitted from France squad for World Cup preparations

Mathieu Bastareaud
Mathieu Bastareaud

Mathieu Bastareaud has been left out of a 31-man France squad to prepare for the World Cup.

The powerful Toulon centre, who has captained Les Bleus three times during his 54-cap career, missed out in a group announced by France head coach Jacques Brunel.

The squad, together with six named reserves, will work towards the tournament in Japan before a final squad is confirmed on September 2.

Bastareaud, 30, will move to Major League Rugby in America later this year, joining Rugby United New York.

Toulouse centre Sofiane Guitoune looks set to prosper from Bastareaud's absence, while Brunel has included uncapped players in Guitoune's club colleague Peato Mauvaka, and Toulon prop Emerick Setiano.

Bastareaud apart, other notable absentees include wing Teddy Thomas, scrum-half Morgan Parra and prop Uini Atonio.

"We have followed (Sofiane) Guitoune all year," Brunel told L'Equipe. "He performed very well.

"We did not know if he would produce the (form). He did it all year long.

"The group is rejuvenated with many players who are 25 years and under, but there are still players with experience with (Yoann) Huget, (Wesley) Fofana and (Maxime) Medard."

France are in the same World Cup pool as England, Argentina, the United States and Tonga. Their opening game is against Argentina in Tokyo on September 21.

France squad

G Alldritt (La Rochelle), D Bamba (Brive), Y Camara (Montpellier), C Chat (Racing 92), G Doumayrou (La Rochelle), A Dupont (Toulouse), G Fickou (Stade Francais), W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), P Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), G Guirado (Toulon), S Guitoune (Toulouse), Y Huget (Toulouse), A Uturria (Clermont Auvergne), F Lambey (Lyon), W Lauret (Racing 92), B Le Roux (Racing 92), C Lopez (Clermont Auvergne), M Machenaud (Racing 92), P Mauvaka (Toulouse), M Medard (Toulouse), R Ntamack (Toulouse), D Penaud (Clermont Auvergne), L Picamoles (Montpellier), J Poirot (Bordeax-Begles), D Priso (La Rochelle), A Raka (Clermont Auvergne), T Ramos (Toulouse), B Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), E Setiano (Toulon), R Slimani (Clermont Auvergne), S Vahaamahina (Clermont Auvergne).

Reserves: A Belleau (Toulon), F Cros (Toulouse), E Falgoux (Clermont Auvergne), C Ollivon (Toulon), V Rattez (La Rochelle), P Willemse (Montpellier).

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