Six Nations

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Bastareaud back as centre of attention

Six Nations

Bastareaud, 24, has not featured in the last two tournaments after being part of his side’s Grand Slam success in 2010. But his impressive performances for his club have earned him a place as one of four centres and will battle for a place with incumbent starters Florian Fritz and Maxime Mermoz as well as Toulouse’s Gael Fickou.

The 33-man group is headed up by new captain Pascal Pape. The Stade Francais second-rower takes over the reins from Thierry Dusautoir, who has been included in the squad after missing the autumn internationals with a knee injury.

However the experienced William Servat misses out on a front-row place. Medard, like Dusautoir, is on his way back from injury and though offered hope for the future, will have to wait for a recall after missing much of last year with knee ligament damage.

France provisional squad for Six Nations: Forwards: V Debaty (Clermont), T Domingo (Clermont), Y Forestier (Castres), B Kayser (Clermont), G Guirado (Perpignan), D Szarzewski (Racing Metro), D Attoub (Stade Francais), L Ducalcon (Racing Metro), N Mas (Perpignan), Y Maestri (Toulouse), P Pape (captain, Stade Francais), J Suta (Toulon), R Taofifenua (Perpignan), D Chouly (Clermont), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), W Lauret (Biarritz), Y Nyanga (Toulouse), F Ouedrogo (Montpellier), L Picamoles (Toulouse).

Backs: M Machenaud (Racing Metro), M Parra (Clermont), F Michalak (Toulon), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Bastareaud (Toulon), J-M Buttin (Clermont), V Clerc (Toulouse), B Dulin (Castres), B Fall (Racing Metro), G Fickou (Toulouse), W Fofana (Clermont), F Fritz (Toulouse), Y Huget (Toulouse), M Mermoz (Toulon).

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