Ollivon returns to lead France in Japan

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Back-rower Charles Ollivon will captain France during next month's two-Test tour of Japan, the French Rugby Federation said on Tuesday.

Ollivon had been replaced as Les Bleus skipper by flanker Anthony Jelonch and scrum-half Antoine Dupont after the Toulon forward suffered a knee injury in June 2021.

The 29-year-old played a key part in taking his side to the European Challenge Cup final last month and led the Barbarians to a convincing win over England on Sunday.

He replaced Guilhem Guirado as France captain after Fabien Galthie was appointed head coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"There was no debate about his nomination," France set-piece coach Karim Ghezal told reporters.

"He's come back very well with his club, with a lot of desire.

"He was captain of the Barbarians, he's in top form," he added.

Jelonch took over for last July's 2-1 series loss in Australia.

Dupont guided his country to victory over New Zealand last November and a Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year.

Alongside fellow first-choice players such as fly-half Romain Ntamack and centre Gael Fickou, Dupont has been rested by Galthie for the upcoming fixtures.

Galthie's squad includes 17 uncapped players and four from the second-tier ProD2 with Top 14 finalists from Castres and Montpellier, meeting on Friday in Paris, also omitted.

France fly to Japan later this week to face the Brave Blossoms in Toyota on July 2 and then in Tokyo seven days later.

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