France squad to be named on August 23

Date published: July 14 2015

Philippe Saint-André will announce his final World Cup squad on August 23 despite an FFR agreement to announce it a week earlier.

The French federation had agreed with the league to decide on the 31-man squad on August 16, after France's first warm-up game, however Saint-André is adamant he will wait until after France's second game against England to cut down his squad.

The World Cup preparation has already been marked by some political issues, with Jules Plisson prevented from training with the squad after not being named in the initial 36-man squad, contrary to Saint-André's wishes.

However on this occasion, Saint-André is confident he will get his way and be able to see all his players over the two warm-up games against England before having to complete his final selection.

"It's been clear from the start. We've been working on this preparation for three years," Saint-André told Rugbyrama

"The list of 31 players, it's clear to me, will be announced after the second warm-up game against England (August 22). We'll cut down to 31 to work on the details for the final game against Scotland. We can announce up until August 31, but there aren't many coaches who will do so.

"I'll announce my squad of 31 on the morning of August 23, whatever happens. The players know as well. For everything else, ask Serge Blanco.

"The feeling (in the squad) is positive. There is some enjoyment, some cohesion. The guys have enjoyed suffering together. The most important thing in the warm-up is not to suffer. 

"They realise they are improving every day and that's important for them. I keep repeating, the journey will be great depending on how much you put in."