12 Jan 2013

Dusautoir back in France's initial Six Nations squad

4:55 pm on 12 January 2013

France have recalled former captain Thierry Dusautoir and centre Mathieu Bastareaud to the preliminary squad for their first Six Nations rugby championship game in Italy next month.

Manager Philippe Saint-Andre stuck mainly with the squad who thrashed Australia then beat Argentina and Samoa in the November internationals when he named 33 players, all of them with previous experience.

Bastareaud, who has nine caps for France and last played when they beat England in the Six Nations in March 2010, was widely expected to be included after his strong performances with his club Toulon, who are top of the French Top 14.

Flanker Dusautoir has returned from a knee injury which sidelined him for the November tests but will not take back the captain's armband as the coach wants him to focus on his recovery.