France drop Lambey, Priso for World Cup squad

Paris (AFP) –


France head coach Jacques Brunel dropped lock Felix Lambey and prop Dany Priso from his final Rugby World Cup squad on Tuesday.

Brunel had originally named the pair, both 25, in his 31-man group to prepare for the tournament during the summer, but replaced them with Toulon's Charles Ollivon and Toulouse's Cyril Baille.

The former Italy boss Brunel said he had chosen Ollivon and Baille due to their displays in the warm-up Tests against Scotland and Italy in August.

"When I had to make the choice Felix was a bit behind with his preparation and the matches. The loose-forwards was the hardest position," Brunel said.

"Cyril arrived in the middle of our preparation. He made a big effort to get up to the required level. It's without a doubt his performances during the matches which made the difference with our decisions.

"We took players who proposed good things during the preparation," he added.

- Picamoles picked -

On Sunday RMC Sport reported the most experienced member of the side, Louis Picamoles with 79 Test caps to his name, was to be excluded but Brunel said the No. 8's inclusion was down to his display in the 47-19 victory over the Azzurri on Friday.

"Picamoles responded to the questions we put to him most notably in the match against Italy," Brunel said.

"He showed his quality and his ability during the big matches," he added.

The 65-year-old had omitted the experienced pair of Morgan Parra and Mathieu Bastareaud in June from his original squad as Brunel and new advisor Fabien Galthie looked to implement a quicker style of play.

During the games last month he handed debuts to Fiji-born Alivereti Raka, Peato Mauvaka and Emerick Setiano.

Lambey and Priso along with lock Romain Taofifenua, flanker Francois Cros, fly-half Anthony Belleau and winger Vincent Rattez will remain as back-up.

Les Bleus start their campaign against Argentina before facing the US, Tonga and England in their pool.

France's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan:

Backs (13): Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Aivereti Raka (Clermont), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Gael Fickou (Stade Francais), Sofiane Guitoune (Toulouse), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Romain Ntamack (Toulouse), Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Baptiste Serin (Toulon).

Forwards (18): Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Yacouba Camara (Montpellier), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Emerick Setiano (Toulon), Rabah Slimani (Clermont), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Guilhem Guirado (Montpellier-capt), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles)