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France returnee Morgan Parra out with knee injury

Morgan Parra(R) shoots a penalty kick during the European Rugby Champions Cup rugby union match between Clermont and Ospreys at the Michelin stadium in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, on January 20
AFP

Paris (AFP) – Having earned a recall to the France squad for the first time in two years, Morgan Parra is now out of the Six Nations opener against Ireland with a knee injury.

Parra’s selection last week raised a few eyebrows as he hadn’t played for France since the 2015 World Cup but the 29-year-old was injured playing for Clermont against Ospreys in the European Champions Cup over the weekend and has been replaced in Jacques Brunel’s France squad by Baptiste Serin.

Toulon’s Hugo Bonneval has also been drafted into the squad to replace Racing 92 full-back Brice Dulin, who suffered a calf injury against Leicester on Sunday.

Serin was first choice scrum-half for much of Brunel’s predecessor Guy Noves’ two-year France reign while Parra was out in the cold.

The 23-year-old Bordeaux-Begles player lost his spot under Noves to Antoine Dupont during the November internationals before being dropped entirely by Brunel.

Parra, who has 68 French caps, had been in fine form this season.

France open their Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland on February 3.

Meanwhile, Brunel confirmed on Monday that Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado would remain as France captain.

The 31-year-old was named captain by Noves following the international retirement of Thierry Dusautoir after the World Cup.

Guirado began his career at Perpignan and was part of the 2009 team Brunel coached to the Top 14 title.

Squad

Forwards (18): Eddy Ben Arous (Racing 92), Cedate Gomes Sa (Racing 92), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles), Dany Priso (La Rochelle), Rabah Slimani (Clermont), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon, capt), Christopher Tolofua (Saracens/ENG), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Français), Felix Lambey (Lyon), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Yacouba Camara (Montpellier), Kevin Gourdon (La Rochelle), Anthony Jelonch (Castres), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Sekou Macalou (Stade Francais), Marco Tauleigne (Bordeaux-Begles)

Backs (14): Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Begles), Anthony Belleau (Toulon), Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Begles), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Henry Chavancy (Racing 92), Geoffrey Doumayrou (La Rochelle), Remi Lamerat (Clermont), Benjamin Fall (Montpellier), Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Hugo Bonneval (Toulon), Geoffrey Palis (Castres)

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