France recall Bastareaud

Date published: January 11 2013

France coach Philippe Saint-André has named Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud in his 33-man squad for the Six Nations.

France coach Philippe Saint-André has named Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud in his 33-man squad for the upcoming Six Nations Championship.

Stade Français lock Pascal Papé retains the captaincy handed to him for the November Tests despite the return to the squad of Thierry Dusautoir.

Les Bleus won all three games under Pap̩'s captaincy against Australia, Argentina and Samoa Рand that was enough to convince Saint-Andr̩ to stick with 45-cap veteran.

Dusautoir has captained France 31 times in 54 appearances, most notably at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand where France reached the final and he was named international player of the year.

Bastareaud has been out of favour since the win over England in March 2010 but has been in excellent form for Toulon and returns to fill the gap left by injured stalwart Aurelien Rougerie.

Elsewhere, Saint-André has largely stuck with the group that he used in the November Tests, with the only uncapped player being 22-year-old Perpignan lock Romain Taofifeuna.

There are however recalls for Perpignan hooker Guilhem Guirado, Racing wing Benjamin Fall and Racing prop Luc Ducalcon.

There is no place for Toulon flank Pierrick Gunther nor Stade Français fly-half Jules Plisson.

The squad will be cut to 23 players on January 28 with France playing their Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on February 3.

France squad:

Forwards (19): Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Metro), David Attoub (Stade Français), Luc Ducalcon (Racing-Metro), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais, capt), Jocelino Suta (Toulon), Romain Taofifenua (Perpignan), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Wenceslas Lauret (Biarritz), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)

Backs:(14) Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Metro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Toulon), François Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Jean-Marcellin Buttin (Clermont), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Brice Dulin (Castres), Benjamin Fall (Racing-Metro), Gael Fickou (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Florian Fritz (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon)