PARIS (AP) — Coach Philippe Saint-Andre recalled veteran flanker Thierry Dusautoir in an experienced squad for France's opening Six Nations match against Italy on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Dusautoir won the last of his 54 France caps against Wales in a 16-9 home win during last year's tournament, where he was an ever-present, but then faced a long spell out following a serious knee injury.
Lock Pascal Pape captains the side having initially taken over from Dusautoir on an interim basis during the autumn test series wins over Australia, Argentina and Samoa, which secured a top-four seeding for the 2015 World Cup draw.
Burly center Mathieu Bastareaud was also named in the squad Monday and is line to make his first international appearance since playing in the home win against England in March, 2010. Saint-Andre is without first-choice winger Vincent Clerc — who has scored 34 international tries — after he injured his right thigh playing for Toulouse against Biarritz last Friday, and backup flanker Wenceslas Lauret who sustained a concussion playing for Biarritz in the same game.
The coach has complained about the team's lack of preparation time for the Six Nations, unhappy that international players are competing in club matches so close to the tournament. ___(equals) France:
Forwards: Vincent Debaty, Yannick Forestier, Benjamin Kayser, Dimitri Szarzewski, Luc Ducalcon, Nicolas Mas, Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape (captain), Romain Taofifenua, Damien Chouly, Thierry Dusautoir, Yannick Nyanga, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Louis Picamoles. Backs: Maxime Machenaud, Morgan Parra, Frederic Michalak, Francois Trinh-Duc, Mathieu Bastareaud, Benjamin Fall, Wesley Fofana, Florian Fritz, Yoann Huget, Maxime Mermoz.