France retain 19 players to prepare for Italy

France head coach Guy Novès has retained 19 players to prepare for the national side's next game against Italy in Round 4 of the Six Nations.

The rest of the squad have been released back to their clubs ahead of this weekend's Top 14 matches.

Louis Picamoles has also been released given there is no policy in place for French national players plying their trade in England to remain with the squad, although according to Midi Olympique a verbal agreement is in place between the FFR and Northampton that Picamoles will not play for Saints in the rest weekends.

19 players retained by France

Forwards: Uini Atonio, Eddy Ben Arous, Kevin Gourdon, Guilhem Guirado, Paul Jedrasiak, Julien le Devedec, Bernard le Roux, Yoann Maestri, Rabah Slimani, Sébastian Vahaamahina

Backs: Gaël Fickou, Yoann Huget, Rémi Lamerat, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud, Noa Nakaitaci, Baptiste Serin, Scott Spedding, Virimi Vakatawa