France include five uncapped players in Six Nations squad

Rugby


France have included five uncapped players in their 31-man Six Nations squad.

Demba Bamba and Romain Ntamack, two members of France’s winning Under-20 World Cup squad, are joined by forwards Dorian Aldegheri and Gregory Alldriit and full-back Thomas Ramos.

Prop Bamba, 20, was part of head coach Jacques Brunel’s squad for the November Internationals last year, appearing from the bench in France’s defeat to Fiji, but is yet to make his full debut.

South African-born Paul Willemse is also named after he obtained French nationality. The lock, 26, qualifies for French residency after having played in the Top 14 for more than three years.

Guilhem Guirado has been named as captain and joins the returning Morgan Parra, who was sidelined for France’s three November Tests due to a wrist injury.

Les Blues open their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Paris on Friday Feb. 1 before they travel to Twickenham to face England a week later. France finished the 2018 tournament 4th in the table following wins over Italy and England.

Full France Squad

Forwards (17): Dorian Aldegheri, Gregory Alldritt, Uini Atonio, Demba Bamba, Pierre Bourgarit, Yacouba Camara, Guilhem Guirado (c), Arthur Iturria, Felix Lambey, Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard Le Roux, Julien Marchand, Louis Picamoles, Jefferson Poirot, Dany Priso, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Paul Willemse

Backs (14): Mathieu Bastareaud, Anthony Belleau, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Antoine Dupont, Gael Fickou, Wesley Fofana, Yoann Huget, Camille Lopez, Maxime Medard, Romain Ntamack, Morgan Parra, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos, Baptiste Serin


Meanwhile, Italy have named former England youth player David Sisi in their preliminary squad for the tournament.

Sisi made several appearances for England’s Under-20s between 2012 and 2013 and joined Italian club Zebre from Premiership side Bath in 2017. The back-row is the only uncapped player named in the 31-man squad. Sergio Parisse returns to captain the Azzuri after missing the November Tests through injury.

Italy open their campaign away to Scotland on Feb. 2, the scene of their last Six Nations victory in 2015.

Full Italy Squad

Forwards (17): Simone Ferrari, Andrea Lovotti, Tiziano Pasquali, Cherif Traore, Giosue Zilocchi, Luca Bigi, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Dean Budd, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Alessandro Zanni, Marco Barbini, Maxime Mbanda, Sebastian Negri, Sergio Parisse (c), Braam Steyn, Jimmy Tuivaiti

Backs (14): Guglielmo Palazzani, Tito Tebaldi, Tommaso Allan, Carlo Canna, Ian McKinley, Giulio Bisegni, Michele Campagnaro, Tommaso Castello, Luca Morisi, Tommaso Benvenuti, Angelo Esposito, Jayden Hayward, Edoardo Padovani, Luca Sperandio



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