New France coach Marc Lievremont has made sweeping changes in his first squad selection ahead of the RBS 6 Nations Championship clash against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 3.
Lievremont had vowed to look to the future after taking over from Bernard Laporte following last year’s World Cup – and the former Dax coach has stuck to his word.
The likes of Sebastien Chabal, Jerome Thion, Clement Poitrenaud, Pierre Mignoni and David Marty are all out, while the experienced quartet of Raphael Ibanez, Serge Betsen, Fabien Pelous and Christophe Dominici announced their retirement from international rugby over the past few months.
There are a number of surprises and new faces, notably in the front row where uncapped props Julien Brugnaut and Lionel Faure – of Dax and Sale Sharks respectively – are selected.
Arnaud Mela and Loic Jacquet are new names in the second row, joining recently appointed captain Lionel Nallet in that department.
And in the back row, Montpellier’s Ouedraogo Fulgence, who has one cap to his name, is chosen and there is a return for Clermont-Auvergne number eight Elvis Vermeulen.
Chabal, Remy Martin, Imanol Harinordoquy and Yannick Nyanga all miss out in the back row.
Behind the scrum, Lievremont has sprung more surprises.
Bourgoin’s Morgan Parra gets the nod over Pierre Mignoni as the second-choice scrum-half behind Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, while uncapped Montpellier fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc will be David Skrela’s understudy.
With Marty dropped and Yannick Jauzion injured, Damien Traille is joined by the returning Florian Fritz at centre.
And in the back three, uncapped Clermont-Auvergne winger Julien Malzieu is chosen ahead of Toulouse full-back Poitrenaud.
Props Sylvain Marconnet, Pieter De Villiers and Olivier Milloud were not considered for selection as they are currently out injured.