Surprising Choice for French Six Nations Captaincy as Australian-Born Lock Assumes Leadership Role

In an unexpected turn of events, the captaincy of the French national rugby team for the upcoming Six Nations tournament has been handed to a towering lock with Australian roots. The gargantuan number eight, Gregory Alldritt, a key figure in the squad under head coach Fabien Galthie, will now bear the additional responsibility of leading the team.

This decision marks a departure from the norm, as Alldritt takes over the captaincy from Antoine Dupont, who is opting to focus on sevens in preparation for the Paris Olympics, sidelining himself for the Six Nations.

What makes the selection even more intriguing is that Alldritt has been chosen over the highly regarded Charles Ollivon, the 26-year-old flanker who, despite being part of the squad, did not receive the captain’s armband. Ollivon had previously served as Galthie’s skipper until an injury in 2022 forced him to miss the Six Nations, paving the way for Dupont to take on the leadership role.

Adding to the squad’s dynamics is the inclusion of new talent, notably Emmanuel Meafou, a New Zealand-born, Australian-raised lock, making his debut in the French national team. The squad also features the return of Uini Atonio and Romain Taofifenua, who reversed their decisions to retire from international rugby.

The scrum-half position, left vacant by Dupont, sees Maxime Lucu as the primary choice, with young talent Nolann Le Garrec providing backup. Notably absent are players like Baptiste Jauneau and Baptiste Couilloud, while versatile Antoine Gibert, capable of playing both half-back positions, secures a spot in the squad.

Head coach Galthie has assembled a formidable 34-man squad, aiming to rebound from the disappointment of their quarter-final exit in the recent Rugby World Cup. The roster includes experienced players alongside promising newcomers, showcasing the depth and talent in French rugby.

The French Six Nations squad includes:
Forwards: Cyril Baille, Reda Wardi, Sebastien Taofifenua, Dorian Aldegheri, Uini Atonio, Thomas Laclayat, Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Gaetan Barlot, Emmanuel Meafou, Romain Taofifenua, Cameron Woki, Paul Gabrillagues, Matthias Halagahu, Gregory Alldritt, Francois Cros, Anthony Jelonch, Charles Ollivon, Esteban Abadie, Paul Boudehent


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