x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Marconnet and Domingo left out of France World Cup squad

Fabien Barcella handed place by head coach Marc Lievremont.

DUBLIN // French forwards Sylvain Marconnet and Thomas Domingo were omitted on Sunday from France's 30-man squad for the Rugby World Cup next month.

Marc Lievremont, the head coach who made the announcement in Dublin following yesterday's final warm-up win over Ireland, had been widely expected to leave Fabien Barcella at home given his lack of fitness but has instead dropped experienced fellow prop Marconnet.

"Sylvain is the last player I played with at club level and also in the France team, it's been a difficult choice," Lievremont said.

"Sylvain asked me not to announce it to the group in his presence. I have always said the best two props in France were Thomas and Fabien. I said I hoped to keep one and that is the decision I have made.

"I have also been surprised by the progress of Jean-Baptiste Poux and Luc Ducalcon."

Barcella ruptured his Achilles tendon in August last year and, although he featured in Saturday's 26-22 win, he looked slightly off the pace.

Domingo has been struggling with a knee problem while Guilhem Guirado, only drafted into the squad as cover for the injured hooker William Servat, keeps his place along with Servat.

Yoann Huget, the winger was dropped from the initial 33-man preliminary squad earlier this month for breaching antidoping regulations.

The centre Maxime Mermoz suffered a knee problem in the first warm-up win against Ireland on August 13 but will be fit for the tournament in New Zealand.

The World Cup takes place from September 9 to October 23 with France, who have never won the trophy despite their famous flair, in Pool A with Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Tonga.

The Toulouse flanker Thierry Dusautoir will captain the side.

The deadline for all final squads to be announced is tomorrow.

Squad

Forwards: Fabien Barcella, Julien Bonnaire, Luc Ducalcon, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Imanol Harinordoquy, Guilhem Guirado, Nicolas Mas, Romain Millo-Chluski, Raphael Lakafia, Lionel Nallet, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Pascal Pape, Louis Picamoles, Julien Pierre, Jean-Baptiste Poux, William Servat, Dimitri Szarzewski.

Backs: Vincent Clerc, Patrice Estebanez, Cedric Heymans, David Marty, Maxime Medard, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson, Morgan Parra, Aurelien Rougerie, David Skrela, Damien Traille, Francois Trinh-Duc, Dimitri Yachvili.