Source: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

A New Line-up for France

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The FFR has announced an enlarged group in preparation for their two autumn tests against England.

The names in italics are additions to the 26 awarded new contracts last month.

ANNERY Julie (Stade Français Paris)
ARRICASTRE Lise (Lons Rugby Féminin Béarn Pyrénées)
BANET Cyrielle (Montpellier RC)
BOUDAUD Camille (Stade Toulousain Rugby)
BOUJARD Caroline (Montpellier RC)
BOURDON Pauline (AS Bayonnaise)
CABALOU Camille (Stade Toulousain Rugby)
CORSON Lénaïg (Stade Français Paris)

COUDERT Emma (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin)
DESHAYES Annaëlle (AS Rouen Université Club)
DIALLO Coumba (Stade Français)
DROUIN Caroline (Stade Rennais Rugby)
FALL Madoussou (AC Bobigny 93 Rugby)

FERER Céline (Stade Toulousain Rugby)
FORLANI Audrey (Blagnac Rugby Féminin)
HERMET Gaëlle (Stade Toulousain Rugby)
IMART Camille (Stade Toulousain Rugby)

JOYEUX Clara (Blagnac Rugby Féminin)
LECAT Fiona (Stade Toulousain Rugby)
MAYANS Marjorie (Blagnac Rugby Féminin)
MENAGER Marine (Montpellier RC)
MENAGER Romane (Montpellier RC)
N’DIAYE Safi (Montpellier RC)
NEISEN Carla (Blagnac Rugby Féminin)
PELLE Chloé (Stade Français Paris)

PEYRONNET Morgane (Montpellier RC)
SANSUS Laure (Stade Toulousain Rugby)

SOCHAT Agathe (Montpellier RC)
THOMAS Caroline (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin)
TOUYE Laure (Montpellier RC)
TRAORE Dhia Maïlys (Stade Toulousain Rugby)
TREMOULIERE Jessy (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin)
VERNIER Gabrielle (Blagnac Rugby Féminin)

One glance at those added names shows the size of the challenge the Red Roses face when they travel to Clermont-Ferrand on 9 November – even more so for the Six Nations clash in Pau on 2 February. They add experience as well as high skills to any XV the management decides to put out.

France have chosen a different path from the English. They have reintroduced some of their leading Sevens players to this group, not least Lénaïg Corson, Caroline Drouin, Carla Neisen, Chloé Pelle and Marjorie Mayans. Other figures like Julie Annery appeared notably in the World Cup. A third group like Laure Sansus and Madoussou Fall made their mark in last summer’s Super Series.

One fascinating side-issue in that autumn fixture will be to test which approach is the more fruitful: keep the Sevens and Fifteens squads firmly apart (RFU) or allow for some switching (FFR)?

Every elite nation in the world is struggling to solved this riddle. How long does it take for an individual to adjust from one format to the other? Many top players admit the switch is challenging. But would the side they return to play equally well without their involvement? Is it fair on committed Fifteens players when they have to cede their place in the team to a Jonny-come-lately from the world of Sevens?