Experienced duo Mathieu Bastareaud and Morgan Parra have been omitted from France’s 37-man squad for the World Cup. Bastareaud boasts 54 caps for the national side and previously captained Les Bleus in the absence of regular skipper Guilhem Guirado.
Parra has turned out 71 times for France but doesn’t make up part of the squad after sustaining an ankle injury playing for Clermont last month. Outgoing head coach Jacques Brunel has surprised a few by not naming the pair on his list of 31 plus six standby players.
Brunel has shown faith in Toulouse’s Top-14 winning side, naming seven of their players in his squad, including centre Sofiane Guitoune, who he admits has edged ahead of Bastareaud. “He [Bastareaud] is in a position full of competition with players in form.
I’m thinking of Sofiane Guitoune, who has been very good,” Brunel said. “I wasn’t sure if Guitoune could keep up his form during the whole season but he did.” France start their World Cup campaign against Argentina on September 21 before taking on the United States and England in Pool C.