France coach Marc Lievremont again overlooked flyhalf Frederic Michalak when he named a 30-man squad on Wednesday for the Six Nations tournament next month.
RugbyHeaven Aus reports that the gifted but erratic Michalak, 26, won the last of his 50 caps in the World Cup third-place playoff defeat by Argentina in October 2007.
Michalak, who returned to Toulouse last year after a spell in South Africa with the Sharks, has plenty of talent but is often criticised for his poor goalkicking.
“For me, Fred is more of a scrumhalf but he currently plays at first five at Toulouse and for me, in that position, he’s behind guys like Lionel Beauxis and David Skrela at the moment,” Lievremont told reporters.
With Skrela out injured, Beauxis is the only genuine first five in the group, although Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, originally a halfback, often plays at number 10 for Toulouse.
Toulouse wing Vincent Clerc, who recently resumed playing after nine months out to nurse ruptured knee ligaments, was not recalled.
No uncapped players were included and Lievremont will later this month name his 23-man squad to face Ireland in France’s opening match on February 7 in Dublin.
Lievremont, who took over from Bernard Laporte after the 2007 World Cup, has kept injecting young blood into the squad since.
Under his guidance, France finished third in the 2008 Six Nations, level on six points with second-placed England after three wins and two defeats.
“We want better results than last year, which was a disappointment,” Lievremont said. “We believe the group we have will be competitive and will keep improving.”
Forwards: Nicolas Mas, Lionel Faure, Benoit Lecouls, Fabien Barcella, Guilhem Guirado, Dimitri Szarzewski, Benjamin Kayser, Sebastien Chabal, Lionel Nallet, Jerome Thion, Romain Millo-Chluski, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Louis Picamoles, Damien Chouly.
Backs: Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Morgan Parra, Lionel Beauxis, Yannick Jauzion, Benoit Baby, Florian Fritz, Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Malzieu, Cedric Heymans, Maxime Mermoz, Clement Poitrenaud, Alexis Palisson, Maxime Medard.Tweet