Antoine Dupont named in 42-man France squad for Six Nations campaign

Antoine Dupont warms up before Ireland v France match in 2021 Six Nations Antoine Dupont appears to have recovered from a knee problem (Brian Lawless/PA)

France have signalled their expectations that star scrum-half Antoine Dupont will be fit for the Six Nations by naming the Toulouse half-back in a 42-man squad.

Dupont has missed the last month because of a knee problem but is in line to return to club action with Toulouse this weekend.

Les Bleus will be handed a significant boost should the outstanding playmaker be ready for full preparations for the tournament, with France’s opener a home clash with Italy on February 6.

Dupont captained France in the autumn in Charles Ollivon’s absence and could continue with the armband given the regular skipper’s long-term recovery from knee problems.

Head coach Fabien Galthie has named four uncapped players in his extended tournament squad.

Clermont prop Daniel Bibi Biziwu and Racing 92 flanker Yoan Tanga are the new faces up front, while Lyon fly-half Leo Berdeu and La Rochelle centre Jules Favre have a chance to impress behind the scrum.

Bordeaux fly-half Matthieu Jalibert has not been included but will be pushing hard to return from a thigh injury in time to prove his fitness and force a way back into the reckoning.

Racing flyers Virimi Vakatawa and Teddy Thomas have squeezed back into the picture too.

Lock Bernard La Roux could pass 50 caps in this year’s competition, and represents one of just four players over the age of 30.

France squad for Six Nations

Forwards: Grégory Alldritt (Stade Rochelais), Uini Atonio (Stade Rochelais), Cyril Baille (Stade Toulousain), Demba Bamba (Lou Rugby), Gaëtan Barlot (Castres Olympique), Daniel Bibi Biziwu (Asm Clermont Auvergne)*, Dylan Cretin (Lou Rugby), François Cros (Stade Toulousain), Ibrahim Diallo (Racing 92), Thibaud Flament (Stade Toulousain), Jean-Baptiste Gros (Rc Toulon), Mohamed Haouas (Montpellier Hérault Rugby), Anthony Jelonch (Stade Toulousain), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Sekou Macalou (Stade Français Paris), Julien Marchand (Stade Toulousain), Peato Mauvaka (Stade Toulousain), Yoan Tanga (Racing 92)*, Romain Taofifenua (Lou Rugby), Florent Vanverberghe (Castres Olympique), Florian Verhaeghe (Montpellier Hérault Rugby), Paul Willemse (Montpellier Hérault Rugby), Cameron Woki (Union Bordeaux Bègles)

Backs: Léo Berdeu (Lou Rugby)*, Baptiste Couilloud (Lou Rugby), Jonathan Danty (Stade Rochelais), Brice Dulin (Stade Rochelais), Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain), Jules Favre (Stade Rochelais)*, Gaël Fickou (Racing 92), Antoine Hastoy (Section Paloise), Melvyn Jaminet (Usa Perpignan), Matthis Lebel (Stade Toulousain), Maxime Lucu (Union Bordeaux Bègles), Yoram Moefana (Union Bordeaux Bègles), Romain Ntamack (Stade Toulousain), Damian Penaud (Asm Clermont Auvergne), Thomas Ramos (Stade Toulousain), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Tani Vili (Asm Clermont Auvergne), Gabin Villiere (Rc Toulon)

* Denotes uncapped player

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