Less than a hundred days before the opening match of the Rugby World Cup against New Zealand, the management of the XV of France unveiled, on June 5, an initial list of 23 players for two days of preparation, June 7 and 8.

It is not, far from it, the final list of players who will prepare for the supreme deadline, but a preliminary list made up of players already eliminated from the final stages with their club and players who have already known the blue jersey. returning from injury.

Included in this first list are regulars for a few months at Marcoussis, such as Dylan Cretin (Lyon), Florian Verhaege (Montpellier), Demba Bemba (Lyon) or Jean-Baptiste Gros (Toulon). The young Palois Emilien Gailleton, top scorer in the Top 14 regular season and left available by the management of the France under-20 team which is also preparing for its World Cup, is also on the list.

A list without the semi-finalists

The staff of the XV of France will be able to gauge the state of form of the Toulon winger Gabin Villière, hampered all season by injuries, or of the center of Montpellier Arthur Vincent, also long in convalescence for a knee injury. Three players (Yacouba Camara, Baptiste Serin and Paul Willemse) are also in the game, but are “in care”, specifies the French Rugby Federation.

Certain indisputable executives of the French team who will play the semi-finals of the Top 14, Friday and Saturday in San Sebastian, Spain, are obviously not called. We are talking here about the many internationals present in the workforce of Stade Toulousain (Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, etc.), Stade Rochelais (Grégory Alldritt, Jonathan Danty, etc.), and, to a lesser extent, Racing 92 and Union Bordeaux-Begles.

Other executives, yet already out of the Brennus shield race, were not called up, such as winger Damian Penaud (Clermont, leaving for Bordeaux) or second-line Romain Taofifenua (RC Toulon). They will no doubt be part of the final list of 42 players, which will be announced on Wednesday, June 21.