François Trinh-Duc in France squad for tour of Australia
François Trinh-Duc is named in Philippe Saint-Andre's 31-man squad for their summer tour of Australia
François Trinh-Duc’s time in the international wilderness will continue after the Montpellier outside-half was again omitted from Philippe Saint-Andre’s 31-man squad for a tour of Australia.
The France head coach has repeated his belief that Castres’ Remi Tales is his first choice 10 with veteran Frederic Michalak as back-up after he switched back to outside-half with Toulon this season after a spell at scrum-half.
Everyone is working hard, just like Francois Trinh-Duc
Trinh-Duc, 27, has played 49 times for France and was first choice under former France coach Marc Lievremont, and has been in impressive form for his club as they qualified directly for the semi-finals of the Top14, but has made just one 13-minute appearance for France as a replacement since the 2013 Six Nations.
“There is no case surrounding Trinh-Duc,” said Saint-Andre. ”He was on the tour to Argentina [in 2012]. He played in the Six Nations when there were injuries.
“We make choices. Tales is our first choice; Michalak is coming back as an outside-half. I make decisions and I take responsibility for them.
“François is in good form but we also have to talk about Jules Plisson and Camille Lopez, who will join Clermont.
“Everyone is working hard, just like Francois Trinh-Duc. Based on the balance of the squad and the team we’re building, Remi Tales remains our first choice.”
Pascal Pape, who captained France during this year’s Six Nations campaign after Thierry Dusautoir was ruled out, has also been rested which could cause a problem in the second row with only Yoann Maesti, Sebastien Vahaamahina and Alexandre Flanquart providing natural options at lock.
Three uncapped players could make their debut this summer as Saint-Andre brings in Toulon prop Alexandre Menini, Castres centre Remi Lamerat and Bordeaux-Begles winger Felix Le Bourhis the surprise inclusions in the squad.
France play Australia in Brisbane on 7 June, before a clash in Melbourne a week later and finishing their tour in Sydney 21 June.
France squad for Australia tour
Forwards: Thomas Domingo (Clermont Auvergne), Alexandre Menini (RC Toulon), Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Christopher Tolofua (Toulouse), Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Rabah Slimani (Stade Français), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Français), Bernard Le Roux (Racing Metro), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Perpignan), Antoine Burban (Stade Français), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (captain, Toulouse), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse).
Backs: Maxime Machenaud (Racing Metro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Toulon), Remi Tales (Castres), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Gaël Fickou (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Remi Lamerat (Castres), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Felix Le Bourhis (Bordeaux Begles), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Hugo Bonneval (Stade Français), Brice Dulin (Castres).