1 Oct 2015

France coach Richard Agar has named his 23-man squad for the four autumn matches against England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales as France continues to build up for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup and reclaim the European Championship – a title they last won in 2005.

Agar’s squad has been depleted through long-term injures to Catalan Dragons stalwarts Remy Casty, Vincent Duport, Thomas Bosc and Greg Mounis while recently hooker Eloi Pelissier was informed he had to undergo surgery. Captain Olivier Elima is rested and Ben Garcia is unavailable as he heads to Australia to start his new career.

There are call ups for Avignon duo Olivier Arnaud and Mickael Goudemand, a rangy loose forward who played for France Under-18 against the Australian Schoolboys last year. Hooker Mourad Kriouche and powerful front row Clément Boyer from Toulouse add to a fresh new look squad notable for the representation of seven English clubs.

The team will be well served in the creative department, with last year’s first choice pair of Theo Fages and Remy Marginet joined by 2013 world cup halfback William Barthau and St Esteve’s Stanislas Robin, who has played at every level of the federation’s international teams.

France begins its campaign with a match in Albi against Ireland on 17 October before playing England in Leigh the following week. Les Bleues then complete their European Championship campaign with matches in Cardiff and then on 7 November against reigning champions Scotland in Avignon.

Pictured: Hull KR hooker John Boudebza will be looking to fill Eloi Pelissier's shoes.

Jean Philippe Baille (Bradford), Gadwin Springer (Castleford), Jason Baitieri, Julian Bousquet, Morgan Escare, Damien Cardace, Antoni Maria, Tony Gigot (Dragons Catalans), Florent Rouanet (FC Lézignan XIII), John Boudebza, Kevin Larroyer (Hull KR), William Barthau (London Broncos), Remy Marginet, Ugo Perez, Stanislas Robin, Jordan Sigismeau (St. Esteve XIII Catalan), Théo Fages (Salford), Olivier Arnaud, Mickael Goudemand (SO Avignon XIII), Clément Boyer, Mourad Kriouache (Toulouse Olympique XIII), Mickael Simon (Wakefield), Benjamin Jullien (Warrington)