Castaignede and Betsen back with Les Bleus

Experienced duo Thomas Castaignede and Serge Betsen have been drafted back into the France squad as coach Bernard Laporte looks at his options ahead of their RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Italy.

Experienced duo Thomas Castaignede and Serge Betsen have been drafted back into the France squad as coach Bernard Laporte looks at his options ahead of their RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Italy.

Laporte and team manager Jo Maso announced a 30-man squad on Wednesday which will be reduced to 22 next week for the February 25 game against the Italians in Paris.

Neither flanker Betsen or utility back Castaignede have played a part in France’s opening two games against Scotland and Ireland because of thigh injuries but, after regaining fitness, they could now be in line to play in the Italy match.

Perpignan prop Nicolas Mas and Biarritz flanker Thierry Dusautoir have also been named in the squad but hooker Dimitri Szarzewski has not been considered after failing to shake off an Achilles problem.

Squad: JB Elissalde (Toulouse), D Yachvili (Biarritz), F Michalak (Toulouse), B Boyet (Bourgoin), D Traille (Biarritz), F Fritz (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), L Valbon (Brive), C Heymans (Toulouse), C Dominici (Toulouse), A Rougerie (Clermont), N Brusque (Biarritz), T Castaignede (Saracens); S Bruno (Sale), R Ibanez (Wasps), S Marconnet (Stade Francais), P De Villiers (Stade Francais), O Milloud (Bourgoin), P Pape (Bourgoin), J Thion (Biarritz), F Pelous (Toulouse, captain), L Nallet (Castres), O Magne (London Irish), S Betsen (Biarritz), Y Nyanga (Toulouse), J Bonnaire (Bourgoin), D Martin (Stade Francais), T Lievremont (Biarritz), T Dusautoir (Biarritz), N Mas (Perpignan).

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