Paul Willemse named in France’s Six Nations squad

Date published: January 9 2019

Head coach Jacques Brunel has named five uncapped players, including South African-born Paul Willemse, in France’s squad for the upcoming 2019 Six Nations.

Toulouse backs Romain Ntamack and Thomas Ramos, prop Dorian Aldegheri and La Rochelle back-rower Gregory Alldritt are the others which make the cut.

Elsewhere, fit-again Gael Fickou is part of the training squad after impressing at centre for Stade Francais since moving from Les Rouge et Noir ahead of the 2018/19 season.

The 24-year-old will hope to add to his seven tries in 41 international matches in this year’s championship – where France begin by hosting Wales in Paris on Friday February 1.

Injuries to the likes of Teddy Thomas, Cedate Gomes Sa and Yoann Maestri may have forced Brunel’s hand slightly but the coach can still call on the likes of skipper Guilhem Guirado, number eight Louis Picamoles, scrum-half Morgan Parra and centre Mathieau Bastareaud to provide experience.

Having missed the 2018 championship due to an ankle injury, fly-half Camille Lopez is also fit once again and included as one of 14 backs.

Les Bleus will convene in Marcoussis on January 20 for a training camp before facing Wales less than a fortnight later.

France’s 31-man training squad:

Forwards: Jefferson Poirot, Dany Priso, Guilhem Guirado, Pierre Bourgarit, Julien Marchand, Uini Atonio, Demba Bamba, Dorian Aldegheri, Félix Lambey, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Bernard Le Roux, Paul Willemse, Arthur Iturria, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Gregory Alldritt, Louis Picamoles.

Backs: Morgan Parra, Antoine Dupont, Baptiste Serin, Camille Lopez, Anthony Belleau, Wesley Fofana, Mathieu Bastareaud, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Romain Ntamack, Gael Fickou, Yoann Huget, Damian Penaud, Maxime Medard, Thomas Ramos