France include Morgan Parra despite impending hearing over headbutt
Scrum-half will find out on Wednesday if he can face Scotland after being charged with ‘brutality’
Scrum-half Morgan Parra faces an anxious wait after being recalled to the French Six Nations squad for their match with Scotland on March 8.
The 25-year-old, 54-times capped Clermont star may still miss out – depending on the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
Parra has been charged with “brutality” after being sent off for headbutting Montpellier’s Rene Ranger on Saturday.
And he has asked for the original March 12 hearing date – which would automatically have ruled him out of the Scottish match – to be brought forward to this Wednesday, even though a two-week suspension would still sideline him.
Parra, who served a suspension in October for punching an opponent, missed the first three Six Nations matches as coach Philippe Saint-Andre waited to see how he performed for his club after returning from injury.
Saint-Andre showed his disapproval of players not respecting a referee’s decision by dropping Louis Picamoles from the squad, for his having sarcastically applauded referee Alain Rolland for sin-binning him in the second-half of the 27-6 defeat by Wales last Friday.
“We have made certain changes because of injuries and of poor performances in the match, but equally because of certain attitudes displayed on the pitch and with regard to the referee which have no place in our sport,” said Saint-Andre.
Aside from Parra’s recall, Castres duo flanker Antonie Claassen and uncapped centre Remi Lamerat were also included in the 30-strong squad.
South Africa-born Claassen, who won three caps last year, comes in for Yannick Nyanga, who suffered a groin injury in the Wales game, while Lamerat replaces Wesley Fofana, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament because of a broken rib also suffered in the Welsh game.
“I can’t wait to join up with the squad and with five other Castres team-mates in it it should make it easier for me to fit in,” 24-year-old Lamerat said.
Saint-Andre also brought back prop Rabah Slimani, who was suspended for the Wales game after being red-carded in the win over Italy, and flanker Bernard Le Roux, who missed the trip to Cardiff as he was concussed in the Italian game.
Saint-Andre has opted not to ask the clubs to rest the players in the squad for the Top 14 matches this weekend as he had done so earlier in the month – for the games in between the win over Italy and the Wales game – and which had received a lukewarm response.
“I will leave it to them [the clubs] to judge their physical wellbeing in terms of being selected for their club games this weekend,” he said.
Forwards: Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Brice Mach (Castres), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Mitro), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Papi (Stade Francais, captain), Sibastien Vahaamahina (Perpignan), Virgile Bruni (Toulon), Alexandre Lapandry (Clermont), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing-Mitro), Bernard Le Roux (Racing-Mitro), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse).
Backs: Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Mitro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Jules Plisson (Stade Frangais), Rimi Talhs (Castres), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Gakl Fickou (Toulouse), Rimi Lamerat (Castres), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Midard (Toulouse), Hugo Bonneval (Stade Francais), Brice Dulin (Castres).