The identity of 19 of these 42 players had already been announced the day before by the coach. The technician, who led the British Barbarians wide winners of England (52-21) on Sunday, automatically selected the tricolors present with the “Babas”. Among them, the third line and first captain of his mandate Charles Ollivon, the Clermont winger Damian Penaud, the third line of the Stade Français Sekou Macalou as well as five players from Racing 92: the third line Yoan Tanga and Ibrahim Diallo, the young prodigies Nolann Le Garrec and Max Spring, and center three-quarter Virimi Vakatawa.
The rest of the group was unveiled Monday morning. None of the players participating in the Top 14 final, scheduled for Friday between Castres and Montpellier, is one of them. In addition to Antoine Dupont, many executives, such as Gaël Fickou, Grégory Alldritt or Julien Marchand remain on vacation. Conversely, Fabien Galthié recalled Matthieu Jalibert, injured and absent during the Six Nations Tournament, and his Grand Slam fullback and scorer Melvyn Jaminet. The question of the captaincy, where Charles Ollivon is approached, must be decided in the coming days.
The Blues will face the Japanese twice. A first time on Saturday July 2 in Aichi, then a second time on July 9 in Tokyo. The XV of France will meet the Japanese in November in France, with a test match scheduled for the 20th at the Stadium in Toulouse.
The group selected for Japan
Pillars: Aldegheri (Toulouse), Bamba (Lyon), Gros (Toulon), Falatea (Clermont) Laclayat (Oyonnax), Priso (La Rochelle), Perchaud (Bayonne)
Hookers: Bourgarit (La Rochelle), Mauvaka (Toulouse), C. Tolofua (Toulon)
Second line: Flament (Toulouse), Jolmes (Bordeaux-Bègles), Lavault (La Rochelle), Picquette (La Rochelle), Rebbadj (Toulon)
Third line: Cretin (Lyon), Diallo (Racing 92), Haddad (La Rochelle), Ollivon (Toulon), Macalou (Stade Français), Tanga (Racing 92), S. Tolofua (Toulouse), Vergnes-Taillefer (Bordeaux-Bègles)
Scrum-half: Couilloud (Lyon), Le Garrec (Racing 92), Lucu (Bordeaux-Begles)
Fly-half: Carbonel (Toulon), Hastoy (Pau), Jalibert (Bordeaux-Bègles), Le Brun (Castres)
Three-quarter center: Moefana (Bordeaux-Begles), Fallen (Racing 92), Vili (Clermont)
Wingers: Baget (Bayonne), Favre (La Rochelle), Lebel (Toulouse), Penaud (Clermont), Reybier (Oyonnax)
Rears: Buros (Bordeaux-Begles), Jaminet (Perpignan), Spring (Racing 92), Luc (Toulon)