Dusautoir set for France nod
Former France captain Thierry Dusautoir is set to face Italy on Sunday after his fellow flanker Yannick Nyanga was sent back to Toulouse.
Dusautoir missed France's autumn Tests due to a knee injury but is fit again and in favour with coach Philippe Saint-Andre.
He is likely to team up with Fulgence Ouedraogo and Louis Picamoles in the back row in Rome for France's opening match of the RBS 6 Nations.
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) confirmed today on their website that Ouedraogo and Picamoles have shaken off injury worries to be available for the match.
"After the doubts over the two back-row players, Fulgence Ouedraogo and Louis Picamoles have been lifted by their participation in all the training sessions for the last two days," the FFR announced.
"Philippe Saint-Andre and his assistants Yannick Bru and Patrice Lagisquet have decided to keep Thierry Dusautoir in the squad for the match against Italy for the first day of the Six Nations and to send Yannick Nyanga back to his club."
Dusautoir and Nyanga are club-mates at Toulouse, and the latter's exclusion from the travelling party leaves France with a 23-man squad, having initially named a provisional 24-man party due to fitness doubts in the pack.
Saint-Andre said on ffr.fr: "It's a real heart-breaker to have to tell Yannick that he has to leave the squad. He's a super competitor, who lifts the squad with his eagerness and who has also brought his good humour and enthusiasm since the squad came together.
"He's had an excellent week's work but the high level means there is healthy competition among the players and choices to make which give the selectors a headache. We continue to follow him and I hope that he will be back with us soon."
France are due to name their starting XV for the match in Rome on Friday.