Toulon’s Mathieu Bastareaud is set to make his first appearance for France in over two years after being named in Guy Noves’ squad for next month’s autumn internationals against the All Blacks, South Africa and Japan.
Bastareaud has been in international exile ever since France suffered a humiliating exit from the 2015 World Cup where they suffered a 62-13 quarterfinal defeat to eventual champions New Zealand.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has recalled Rhys Priestland to the Welsh squad for their autumn internationals in Cardiff.
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has named 10 uncapped players in his squad for next month’s autumn Test series where they will face Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
However strong club form and injuries in the midfield has seen Noves select the powerful centre in his 32 man squad.
Noves has named eight uncapped players including Bastareaud’s Toulon team-mate Anthony Belleau, Geoffrey Doumayrou and Felix Lambey.
As was the case last season with then Northampton Saints’ No. 8 Louis Picamoles, Noves has picked an overseas-based player, with Saracens hooker Christopher Tolofua included.
A second squad of 14 players — including Gael Fickou and Jules Plisson — have been selected for France’s midweek match against New Zealand in Lyon.