The coach of the XV of France, Jacques Brunel, has unveiled this Wednesday, a group of 31 players for the upcoming fall tour, which starts on the 10 November at the Stade de France with the reception of South Africa.

Louis Picamoles made his big return. The third line of Montpellier no longer wore the jersey of the Blues since the defeat in Scotland, on the 11th of February, and a restless night in Edinburgh, which had earned him to be excluded, as seven other players.

in recent weeks, relations have warmed between the player to the 69 selections and the boss of the Blues. Picamoles also benefits from the absence in his position, Marco Tauleigne, injured, and Kevin Gourdon and Fabien Sanconie, which play little club.

A small new 125 kilograms is selected for the first time. World Champion with less than 20 years in June, the Briviste Demba Bemba has been called to the position of pillar. The hooker of the Stade Toulousain, Julien Marchand (23 years) is the other novelty of this list.

Two names are absent, those of the second row Paul Willemse (Montpellier) and the flanker Alivereti Raka (Clermont). For several days, yet they were announced with insistence. Finally, Jacques Brunel has renounced to select the South African and Fijian.

In rugby, an international can be a selection without holding the nationality of the country. To do this, it must meet two conditions laid down by World Rugby (the international federation) : to reside for three years in the country and not from any selection to another selection national. This is the case of Willemse and Raka.

19 foreigners in the history of the XV de France

The coach said he declined at the last moment to not disappoint the promise of the president of the French rugby federation (FFR), Bernard Laporte ? During his presidential campaign, the former manager of Toulon, has announced that a French passport would become imperative to be selectable in its commitment number 11.

“Inclusion in the selection criteria for national teams of the need to be a French citizen (like the IOC for the representation of the og and most of the other French Federations)…”

The president Laporte wished to put an end to the policy of the breeder Laporte and even more active under the age of Philippe Saint-André (2011-2015), when the 13 foreign nationals were in 2014 on a list of 74 players to prepare for the world Cup 2015.

also Read :   Bernard Laporte : “It will take a French passport” to play with the XV de France

In the history of the XV of France, 19 foreigners have already worn the blue shirt hit the cock. With a happiness uneven. If the South African Steven Hall, Antonie Claassen and Daniel Kotze have not left an imperishable memory, their compatriot Pieter de Villiers, has been a pillar of unmovable years 2000 and new Zealand, Tony Marsh, a three-quarters essential centre. These two players were the best of the breeder of the time, a certain Bernard Laporte (1999-2007).

in an interview In the World in January 2017, the one who was to become president of the FFR had reiterated its commitment not to use foreign players.

” World Rugby is going to change the rule : to play in a national team, it would now be necessary five years of residence on the territory, instead of three today. But, for us, it won’t be enough, it will hold a French passport. Otherwise, sooner or later, there will be that in the France team ? Three Fijians, two Samoans… Josua Tuisova [winger, fijian playing at RC Toulon], if I do not speak with him, if I will not send it to play with his country, Fiji, he would play in the France team so that he does not speak a word of French. “

The message was clear : focus on the training in French and to do that one identifies of a new XV of France in the lack of results, and without style of play.

“Sooner or later, they will be French”

Interviewed in June in Midi olympique, on the case of Raka – which, without a serious knee injury, would have started with the Blue for the last Tournament of the six nations – and Willemse, Bernard Laporte was, however, heavily qualified his remarks : he had put forward the desire of both players to want to become French, and recalled that they had begun the administrative steps necessary.

” Except that this procedure takes time. But sooner or later, they will be French. From the moment they made their request, I consider them as selectable. I’m not going to make them suffer the wait of the prefecture, ” explained the boss of the FFR.

Bernard Laporte would he then be sent a trial balloon, leaving filter the names of Willemse and Raka ? This is what is believed, the site Rugbyrama, who announced, in the early afternoon Wednesday, as the South African and Fijian were not included in the list of 31. In the Face of many reactions, the boss of the French rugby union have finally decided to not grant the request of Jacques Brunel, wishing to be able to rely on the power of Willemse and the speed of Raka.

message edited by Bernard Laporte on his Twitter account, Wednesday, after the announcement of the list of 31, leaving little doubt about his speech to the man who was his loyal deputy when he ran the XV of France. He was grateful to Brunel for his understanding : “In the France team, a player must be of French nationality. It is my commitment and I thank the staff that has always taken into account. “The commitment number 11 of the applicant Laporte is except.

The list of 31

For the fall tour, which will see the XV de France face South Africa (November 10), Argentina (17) and Fiji (24), the coach, Jacques Brunel, has retained the 31 players the following :

Forwards : Uini Atonio, Mathieu Babillot, Demba Bamba, Camille Cat, Paul Gabrillagues, Kelian Galletier, Cedate Gomes, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Arthur Iturria, Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard Le Roux, Yoann Maestri, Julien Marchand, Louis Picamoles, Jefferson Poirot, Dany Priso, Sébastien Vahaamahina

Back : Mathieu Bastareaud, Anthony Belleau, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Antoine Dupont, Benjamin Fall, Gael Fickou, Wesley Fofana, Rémi Lamerat, Camille Lopez, Maxime Médard, Morgan Parra, Damian Sheepishly, Baptiste Serin, Teddy Thomas