Noves culls Rugby World Cup squad in new start for France
PARIS (AP) Only 15 players from the France squad that was eliminated in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals were retained by new coach Guy Noves on Tuesday for his first Six Nations training camp.
Philippe Saint-Andre's replacement, who took the reins in November, included Francois Trinh-Duc in his list of 30 players for the camp on Monday. The flyhalf with 50 caps missed the World Cup, and last took the field for France in a 19-14 warm-up loss to England in August.
Five others are uncapped: Toulouse's Sebastien Bezy and Yacouba Camara; Jonathan Danty of Stade Francais; Paul Jedrasiak with Clermont Auvergne, and Jefferson Poirot of Bordeaux.
Another seven have fewer than 10 caps each.
The international retirements of captain Thierry Dusautoir and other veterans after the crushing 62-13 loss to eventual World Cup winner New Zealand forced Noves to bring in new faces. Also calling time on their France careers were hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, lock Pascal Pape, prop Nicolas Mas, and record point-scorer and flyhalf Frederic Michalak. The five had 390 caps between them.
The most experienced player at the camp, with 66 caps, will be scrumhalf Morgan Parra. The Clermont player was France's second-highest point-scorer, with 19, at the World Cup, behind Michalak's 33.
Noves plans to hold a second camp, also with 30 players, on Jan. 11. He intends to interview players individually and present them with his game-plans.
Noves is also planning another camp from Jan. 25-27. He'll then announce his 30-man squad to kick off their Six Nations campaign against Italy, at Stade de France on Feb. 6.