Galthie’s new faces designed for the future

Rugby

New France coach Fabien Galthie said his squad for the upcoming Six Nations, which includes 19 uncapped players, was assembled with a view towards the World Cup on home soil in 2023.

Former Les Bleus captain Galthie, 50, has named a very inexperienced 42-man outfit.

Forward Bernard le Roux is the only player over 30 while center Gael Fickou is the only man with more than 51 caps.

There are seven junior world champions in the setup including influential Toulon fly-half Louis Carbonel, the impressive ball-carrying prop Jean-Baptiste Gros and powerful number eight Cameron Woki who has scored twice in 12 matches for Bordeaux-Begles this season.

Alongside Woki is new skipper Charles Ollivon who has just 11 Test appearances to his name.

Ollivon’s international career has been restricted after three shoulder injuries in the space of two years and says he will be able to lean on eight of his club teammates and those who featured with him at last year’s World Cup.

“There are quite a lot of Toulon players who I know well so certainly even if there will be new faces I don’t know, there will be a lot of guys who I do know,” he told AFP.

Galthie and Ollivon begin their tenures by hosting England on February 2 and the former France scrum-half said he had an inkling about who would feature against Eddie Jones’ World Cup runners-up.

“We have an idea about the 28 who we are going to keep and it’s true that we have an approximate idea about our starting lineup,” he said.

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