Experienced pair Mathieu Bastareaud and Morgan Parra missed out on France’s 31-man World Cup squad, head coach Jacques Brunel announced on Tuesday.
The powerful Toulon centre, who has captained Les Bleus three times during his 54-cap career, missed out in a group announced by France head coach Jacques Brunel.
The squad, together with six named reserves, will work towards the tournament in Japan before a final squad is confirmed on September 2.
Bastareaud, 30, will move to Major League Rugby in America later this year, joining Rugby United New York.
Toulouse centre Sofiane Guitoune looks set to prosper from Bastareaud’s absence, while Brunel has included uncapped players in Guitoune’s club colleague Peato Mauvaka, and Toulon prop Emerick Setiano.
Bastareaud apart, other notable absentees include wing Teddy Thomas, scrum-half Parra and prop Uini Atonio.
“We have followed (Sofiane) Guitoune all year,” Brunel told L’Equipe. “He performed very well.
“We did not know if he would produce the (form). He did it all year long.
“The group is rejuvenated with many players who are 25 years and under, but there are still players with experience with (Yoann) Huget, (Wesley) Fofana and (Maxime) Medard.”
Les Bleus start their campaign against Argentina on September 21 before facing the USA, Tonga and then England in what promises to be a tough Pool C.
🇫🇷 Voici les 37 joueurs retenus pour la préparation de la Coupe du Monde 2019 au Japon ! Il est composé d'un premier groupe de 31 joueurs et de 6 suppléants ! #XVdeFrance #RWC2019 #NeFaisonsXV pic.twitter.com/FeJWbSUmDS— Fédération Française de Rugby (@FFRugby) June 18, 2019
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