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Fickou receives France call-up

Highly-rated centre Gael Fickou is one of several new faces included in France's 33-man squad for their autumn internationals.

The 18-year-old has been compared with former England three-quarter Jeremy Guscott after excelling with Toulouse, and has now been given the chance to impress national head coach Philippe Saint-Andre.

Pierrick Gunther, Vincent Martin, Jocelino Suta (all Toulon), Jules Plisson (Stade Francais), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing Metro) and Sebastien Vahaamahina (Perpignan) have also been called up to the international fold for the first time ahead of France's fixtures against Australia, Argentina and Samoa in November.

Saint-Andre chose to rest several notable names during France's two-Test series in Argentina, which they drew 1-1.

Among those absent was captain Thierry Dusautoir, who returns to the side, but 71-cap veteran Aurelien Rougerie has been omitted.

France forwards: E Ben Arous, T Domingo, Y Forestier, B Kayser, C Tolofua, D Szarzewski, D Attoub, V Debaty, N Mas, Y Maestri, P Pape (vice-captain), J Suta, S Vahaamahina, D Chouly, T Dusautoir (captain), P Gunther, W Lauret, F Ouedraogo, L Picamoles

Backs: M Machenaud, M Parra, F Michalak, J Plisson, F Trinh-Duc, V Clerc, B Dulin, B Fall, G Fickou, W Fofana, F Fritz, Y Huget, V Martin, M Mermoz.


From Belfast Telegraph