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France squad for Six Nations opener against Italy

France manager Philippe Saint-Andre trimmed his preliminary Six Nations squad from 33 down to 24 on Monday, dispensing as expected with a host of uncapped and fringe players for the opener against Italy on Sunday.

Centre Mathieu Bastareaud, recalled after a near three-year absence, made the cut on Monday for France's Six Nations opener in Rome.

Third rower Thierry Dusautoir and prop Luc Ducalcon also were retained in a group which will ultimately be cut further down to 23 on Wednesday after Saint-Andre works out his options on the fitness of his third rowers, given current "uncertainties", according to a French statement.

With fullback Brice Dulin out of action for several weeks because of a hamstring injury, Yoann Huget or Benjamin Fall could be handed the number 15 shirt.

Lock Romain Taofifenua, who won his first cap against Argentina last year, retained his place in the squad.

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France Squad

Forwards: Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Metro), Luc Ducalcon (Racing-Metro), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais, capt), Romain Taofifenua (Perpignan), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)

Backs: Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Metro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Toulon), Franois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Benjamin Fall (Racing-Metro), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Florian Fritz (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon)


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