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Bastareaud, Parra left out by France for Rugby World Cup

PARIS (AP) — Mathieu Bastareaud and Morgan Parra, who both captained France just last year, have failed to make the preliminary squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Winger Teddy Thomas was another high-profile absentee when France's 31-man group was announced on Tuesday, three months out from the tournament.

France coach Jacques Brunel has reacted to another disappointing Six Nations by leaving out Bastareaud, the strapping center whose destructive and one-dimensional style can restrain the team's game plan.

Bastareaud, who has been in and out of the national team for a decade, captained France in last year's Six Nations in the absence of regular skipper Guilhem Guirado, and also played in this year's tournament.

Parra, a goal-kicking scrumhalf with 71 caps, has also been a mainstay for the French but hasn't played since being critical of Brunel's training methods in February leading up to the heavy loss to England in the Six Nations. He was dropped from the squad completely for the final three games.

Thomas was among the players sanctioned by the French Rugby Federation for going out drinking after a Six Nations match in Scotland in February last year and didn't feature in this year's Six Nations while he recovered from injury.

The 31-man squad, plus six standby players, will be evaluated over the next two months with the expectation they will make up the final World Cup squad that will be announced on Sept. 2. France, a three-time finalist, is in the same pool as England and Argentina in the World Cup that starts on Sept. 20.

France squad: Gregory Alldritt, Demba Bamba, Yacouba Camara, Camille Chat, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Antoine Dupont, Gael Fickou, Wesley Fofana, Paul Gabrillagues, Guilhem Guirado, Sofiane Guitoune, Yoann Huget, Arthur Iturria, Felix Lambey, Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard Le Roux, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud, Peato Mauvaka, Maxime Medard, Romain Ntamack, Damian Penaud, Louis Picamoles, Jefferson Poirot, Dany Priso, Alivereti Raka, Thomas Ramos, Baptiste Serin, Emerick Setiano, Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina.

Standby list: Anthony Belleau, Francois Cros, Etienne Falgoux, Charles Ollivon, Vincent Rattez, Paul Willemse.

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