Six Nations 2013: Saint-Andre names Pape as France captain

Six Nations 2013: France coach Philippe Saint-Andre appoints Pascal Pape as his captain, with Mathieu Bastareaud recalled

Pascal Pape will lead France in this year’s Six Nations after being given the nod over Thierry Dusautoir by head coach Philippe Saint-Andre, with Mathieu Bastareaud also earning a recall.

Saint-Andre named a 33-man squad for the tournament as Les Bleus look to build on their unbeaten November in which they saw off Australia, Argentina and Samoa.

Second row Pape led the team during those Tests, with Dusautoir out injured, as he had on the summer tour to Argentina.

And despite the Toulouse flanker returning to the squad, Saint-Andre has gone with continuity by sticking with Pape.

Although Saint-Andre’s squad retains the same core that featured last autumn, there are a few notable returns, including Bastareaud, who played a leading role in the 2010 Grand Slam.

The powerful centre could make his first international appearance since 2010, while Clermont full-back Jean-Marcellin Buttin, who made his French debut in last year’s Six Nations, is also included.

Up front David Attoub and Luc Ducalcon are both included at tighthead, along with first choice Nicolas Mas.

Along with Thierry Dusautoir, Perpignan pair Guilhem Guirado and Romain Taofifenua are the only other players included who were not in the squad last November.

“Your captain has to be an automatic first choice. With regards to Thierry, we don’t want to put him under too much pressure. We want to give him time to come back. Pascal played very well in November,” said Saint-Andre.

“Once more it’s a nice problem to have. If I only had problems like that, it would be brilliant.”

France squad for the Six Nations:

Forwards: Vincent Debaty, Yannick Forestier, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Guilhem Guirado, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas Mas, Luc Ducalcon, David Attoub, Pascal Pape, Yoann Maestri, Jocelino Suta, Romain Taofifenua, Yannick Nyanga, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Thierry Dusautoir, Wenceslas Lauret, Louis Picamoles, Damien Chouly.

Backs: Maxime Machenaud, Morgan Parra, Frederic Michalak, Francois Trinh-Duc, Mathieu Bastareaud, Gael Fickou, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Mermoz, Florian Fritz, Yoann Huget, Vincent Clerc, Benjamin Fall, Brice Dulin, Jean-Marcellin Buttin.

© Sportsbeat 2012

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