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Michalak left out of France squad

France have discarded their misfiring stand-off Frederic Michalak and called up the uncapped Jules Plisson in naming a 30-man preliminary squad for the RBS 6 Nations championship.

The uncapped backs Geoffrey Palis and Hugo Bonneval and the flanker Antoine Burban were also selected by Philippe Saint-Andre, the coach, for a week-long training camp before the squad is reduced to 23 players ahead of the opener at home against England on February 1.

The absence of Michalak was expected with the flyhalf experiencing a difficult season with his club Toulon, for whom he has started only two out of 16 league games so far.

Plisson has been regularly preferred to South Africa's Morne Steyn at Stade Francais, leading the Paris side to second spot in the French Top 14. "He has improved, he's a young French player with great potential," said Saint-Andre.

Preliminary squad

Forwards T Domingo, Y Forestier, B Kayser, D Szarzewski, N Mas, R Slimani, A Flanquart, Y Maestri, P Pape, S Vahaamahina, A Burban, T Dusautoir (cap), B Le Roux, Y Nyanga, D Chouly, L Picamoles

Backs J-M Doussain, M Machenaud, J Plisson, R Talès, M Bastareaud, G Fickou, W Fofana, M Mermoz, S Guitoune, Y Huget, M Medard, G Palis, H Bonneval, B Dulin

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