Harinordoquy named in French squad

Imanol Harinordoquy has been named in France’s 23-man squad for their opening two matches of the RBS 6 Nations Championship, against Ireland and Scotland.

Imanol Harinordoquy has been named in France’s 23-man squad for their opening two matches of the RBS 6 Nations Championship, against Ireland and Scotland.

A knee injury prevented the Biarritz back-row forward from being included in a 33-man group named last week by head coach Marc Lievremont for a training camp that has been held over the past three days.

But Harinordoquy is back involved after proving his fitness and is named in a trimmed-down party, getting the nod over back-row rivals Julien Bonnaire and Damien Chouly.

The other surprise is the non-inclusion of versatile Toulouse star Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, with Lievremont preferring to go with youth at scrum-half in the form of Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Morgan Parra.

Florian Fritz has been struggling with a thigh problem this week but is one of three centres called up, along with Yannick Jauzion and Benoit Baby.

As expected, Lievremont has gone with just one specialist fly-half, Lionel Beauxis, with Jauzion or Parra set to fill in at number 10 in an emergency.

Aurelien Rougerie, Alexis Palisson and Maxime Mermoz are the other backs to miss the cut while in the forwards, hooker Guilhem Guirado and lock Jerome Thion will return to their clubs after missing out on selection.

France open their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Dublin on February 7 and then host Scotland at the Stade de France a week later.

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