Six Nations: France select four uncapped players in preliminary 30-man squad
Last Updated: 06/01/14 4:42pm
Jules Plisson: Stade Francais fly-half included in France's 30-man squad
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has included four uncapped players in his preliminary 30-man squad for the Six Nations.
Stade Francais trio Jules Plisson, Antoine Burban and Hugo Bonneval, and Castres back Geoffrey Palis are all included.
Plisson has been preferred to experienced half-backs Frederic Michalak and Francois Trinh-Duc, who are both omitted.
With Camille Lopez ruled out through injury, Saint-Andre has turned to Plisson, who briefly featured in the squad last year.
"There were talks over Jules Plisson and Francois again this morning," admitted Saint-Andre.
"Francois is making a massive effort and he's almost there, but Jules Plisson is currently putting in some high-quality performances.
"We've picked the most in-form and confident players of the moment."
Turning to Michalak, Saint-Andre said: "Frederic was the starter in last year's Six Nations and he played exceptionally in the November 2012 Tests.
"But he got injured and is currently lacking game time. He needs more time."
France will hold a week-long training camp in Canet-en-Rousillon on 19 January before reducing their squad to 23 players ahead of their Six Nations opener at home to England on 1 February.
Les Bleus, who finished bottom of last year's Six Nations after recording one solitary victory, are without a number of key players through injury, such as Morgan Parra, Florian Fritz and Vincent Clerc.
Forwards: T Domingo (Clermont), Y Forestier (Castres), B Kayser (Clermont), D Szarzewski (Racing Metro), N Mas (Montpellier), R Slimani, A Flanquart (both Stade Francais), Y Maestri (Toulouse), P Pape (Stade Francais), S Vahaamahina (Perpignan), A Burban (Stade Francais), T Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), B Le Roux (Racing Metro), Y Nyanga (Toulouse), D Chouly (Clermont), L Picamoles (Toulouse).
Backs: JM Doussain (Toulouse), M Machenaud (Racing Metro), J Plisson (Stade Francais), R Tales (Castres), M Bastareaud (Toulon), G Fickou (Toulouse), W Fofana (Clermont), M Mermoz (Toulon), S Guitoune (Perpignan), Y Huget, M Medard (both Toulouse), G Palis (Castres), H Bonneval (Stade Francais), B Dulin (Castres).