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France's rugby World Cup squad chosen, includes Picamoles

SYLVAIN THOMAS / AFP | Montpellier's French flanker Louis Picamoles (R) runs with the ball during the French Top 14 rugby union match between Montpellier and Agen, at the GGL Stadium in Montpellier, southern France on April 6, 2019.

Number eight Louis Picamoles was included in France's 31-man squad for the rugby World Cup on Monday for his last participation in the sport's extravaganza.

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The 33-year-old, who is expected to quit international rugby after the Sept. 20-Nov. 2 tournament in Japan, will take part in his third World Cup after coach Jacques Brunel preferred him to Francois Cros.

The list was drawn from a preliminary squad of 37, with Felix Lambey and Romain Taofifenua notable omissions.

France head coach Jacques Brunel had originally named the Lyon second-row and the La Rochelle front-rower in his 31-man group to prepare for the tournament during the summer but replaced them with Toulouse's Cyril Baille and Toulon's Charles Ollivon.

The 65-year-old had dropped the experienced pair of Morgan Parra and Mathieu Bastareaud in June.

Instead he handed debuts to Fiji-born Alivereti Raka, Peato Mauvaka and Emerick Setiano during warm-up fixtures against Scotland and Italy.

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

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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