Veteran number eight Louis Picamoles included in France’s World Cup squad
Francois Cros, Felix Lambey and Romain Taofifenua among those to miss out
Number eight Louis Picamoles has been included in France’s World Cup squad. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images
Number eight Louis Picamoles will get to finish his international career at the World Cup after he was included in France’s 31-man squad on Monday.
“We picked [Picamoles] after several nice performances and because of his experience,” Brunel said.
“We also picked a player who can play third and secondrow in Arthur Iturria. ”
They were far from impressive, yet Brunel believes they can cause an upset in Japan, with a potentially decisive clash against Argentina on September 21st their first outing.
“The favourites are always the same. The number one favourites are the All Blacks,” he said, refusing to elaborate.
“This squad is a good mix of youth and experience, it’s a good balance. The pool is tough but we hope to get very very far in this tournament,” said Brunel, who included five halfbacks in his squad with scrumhalves Baptiste Serin, Antoine Dupont and Maxime Machenaud and flyhalves Camille Lopez and Romain Ntamack.
“With five halfbacks we’re ready for every possibility,” Brunel explained.
The squad will gather at their training camp in Marcoussis on Wednesday before flying to Japan on Saturday.
Backs: Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Baptiste Serin (Toulon), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Romain Ntamack (Toulouse), Gael Fickou (Stade FranCais), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Sofiane Guitoune (Toulouse), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Alivereti Raka (Clermont), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse).
Forwards: Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Rabah Slimani (Clermont), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Emerick Setiano (Toulon), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Guilhem Guirado (Montpellier, cap.), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade FranCais), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier), Yacouba Camara (Montpellier), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92).