20 May 2009

One newcomer in French rugby squad

3:08 pm on 20 May 2009

The Leicester halfback Julien Dupuy has been called up for the first time to the French rugby squad for next month's tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The 25-year-old, who joined Leicester this season, is the only newcomer in the 30-man squad named by coach Marc Lievremont.

He'sbeen picked at the expense of Dimitri Yachvili, whom he was the second-choice to while both were playing at Biarritz.

France will play New Zealand in Dunedin on June 13th and in Wellington on June 20th. They will then take on Australia in Sydney on June 27th.

Toulouse wing Vincent Clerc returns to the squad after more than a year on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury.

Also returning from a long absence is Stade Francais second row Pascal Pape, who was out injured from June 2008 to February 2009.

Fly half David Skrela, who was not called up for the Six Nations championship, will travel with France as will utility back Alexis Palisson who plays for Brive.

A first group of French players will leave for New Zealand after the Top 14 championship semi-finals on June 2nd while a second will leave on June 7th, a day after the Top 14 final.