Six Nations | France name new captain in 42-man squad

Charles Ollivon will captain France in the 2020 Six Nations.

Toulon flanker Ollivon, who has been handed the armband by new Les Bleus head coach Fabien Galthie, inherits the captaincy from the retired Guilhem Guirado.

The 26-year-old – who was won just 11 caps to date – will captain a new-look 42-man French squad for the tournament which includes 19 uncapped players.

Camille Lopez and Yoann Huget are among the notable absentees, while Mohamed Haouas, Cameron Woki and Louis Carbonel are two of the uncapped players called up to the squad.

Maxime Médard also misses out, but Teddy Thomas has been recalled.

“I will take advantage of every second because it is a great honour,” Ollivon told the FFR website.

“Fabien (Galthie) called me when I was at home. It was a special moment. I look forward to starting this new adventure.”

Ollivon’s first game as captain will come against England at the Stade de France in Paris on the second of February.

France have not won the Six Nations since 2010, and face an uphill battle to end that decade-long drought this spring.

Les Bleus were eliminated from the World Cup by hosts Japan in the quarter-finals, and have promoted Galthie to head coach to replace the departing Jacques Brunel.

“We focused on the strengths we had without solely focusing on England,” Galthie said.

“Our choices are balanced with an average age of 24. We are aware that it’s a young and inexperienced squad.”

France have enjoyed considerable success at underage level in recent years, winning the last two U20 World Championships.

Interestingly, 30-year-old Bernard Le Roux is the only player over aged 30 or over in the Six Nations squad.

Galthrie’s squad clearly places an emphasis on youth, and French supporters will be hoping that the next generation can take French rugby back to where it belongs.

France Six Nations squad:

Forwards:

Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Anthony Etrillard (Toulon), Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon), Mohamed Haouas (Montpellier), Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Cyril Cazeaux (Bordeaux-Begles), Killian Geraci (Lyon), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Boris Palu (Racing 92), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon), Paul Willemse (Montpellier), Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Dylan Cretin (Lyon), Francois Cros (Toulouse), Alexandre Fischer (Clermont), Sekou Macalou (Stade Francais), Selevasio Tolofua (Toulouse), Cameron Woki (Bordeaux-Begles)

Backs:

Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Baptiste Serin (Toulon), Maxime Lucu (Bordeaux-Begles), Romain Ntamack (Toulouse), Louis Carbonel (Toulouse), Mathieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Begles), Gael Fickou (Stade Francais), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Arthur Vincent (Montpellier), Julien Heriteau (Toulon), Gervais Cordin (Toulon), Lester Etien (Stade Francais), Gabriel Ngandebe (Montpellier), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Vincent Rattez (La Rochelle), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Anthony Bouthier (Montpellier), Kylian Hamdaoui (Stade Francais), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse)