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France call up debutant Bamba, recall for Picamoles

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France coach Jacques Brunel has summoned debutant Demba Bamba and recalled Louis Picamoles to his squad announced Wednesday for November Tests against South Africa, Argentina and Fiji.

Bamba Kane of Senegal celebrates

Picamoles makes his big return after being axed for a night out in Edinburgh while in Scotland for a Six Nations clash in February.

The 20-year-old prop Bamba earned his call up after starring for French Pro D2 side Brive and in France’s Under-20 world championship winning side.

His inclusion means no call up for Top 14 leaders Clermont’s Rabah Slimani with less than a year before the 2019 World Cup.

Aside from Bamba another first cap beckons for hooker Julien Marchand, captain at just 23 years of age of Top 14 outfit Toulouse.

Captain Guilhem Guirado returns after missing out on the June tour of New Zealand.

Two players returning to the international scene after long term injuries last season are fly-half Camille Lopez and scrum-half Antoine Dupont.

There was no place, however, for Fiji-born winger Alivereti Raka or South African lock forward Paul Willemse.

“In the France team a player must have French nationality. That’s my commitment and I thank the staff who have taken that on board,” tweeted Bernard Laporte, president of the French rugby federation.

Both Raka and Willemse are waiting for their applications for French citizenship to be processed.

France face South Africa on November 10, Argentina a week later and Fiji on November 24.

France squad

Forwards (17): Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Bègles), Danny Priso (La Rochelle), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon/cap.), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Demba Bamba (Brive), Cedate Gomes Sa (Racing 92), Yoann Maestri (Stade Français), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Français), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Bernard le Roux (Racing 92), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Mathieu Babillot (Castres), Kelian Galletier (Montpellier)

Backs (14): Morgan Parra (Clermont), Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Bègles), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Anthony Belleau (Toulon), Geoffrey Doumayrou (La Rochelle), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Gael Fickou (Stade Français), Remi Lamerat (Clermont), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Maxime Médard (Toulouse), Benjamin Fall (Montpellier)

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