Lopez withdraws from France tour

Clermont fly-half Camille Lopez has withdrawn from France’s tour to South Africa after an agreement was reached between his club and les Bleus to rest him.

It has been agreed to preserve Lopez after an extended season which will end on Sunday after Clermont's clash with Toulon in the Top 14 Final in Paris.

Lopez has been France's first-choice fly-half since their 52-8 win over Samoa in Toulouse last November. He has played thirty games this season of which 23 has been for Clermont and seven for France. 

The 28-year-old, who was due to join les Bleus' squad at the beginning of next week in South Africa, has not been replaced in the squad for the time being.

"For now, I prefer to wait," France head coach Guy Novès told L'Equipe.

Clermont's Arthur Iturria, Damian Penaud and Scott Spedding as well as Xavier Chiocci, Guilhem Guirado and Romain Taofifenua of Toulon will join France's squad in South Africa after the Top 14 Final.

France squad:

Forwards: Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing 92), Mohamed Boughanmi (La Rochelle), Yacouba Camara (Toulouse/Montpellier), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Xavier Chiocci (Toulon), Goujon (Bordeaux-Bègles), Kevin Gourdon (La Rochelle), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Anthony Jelonch (Castres), Julien Le Devedec (Brive), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Clement Maynadier (Bordeaux-Bègles), Louis Picamoles (Northampton/ENG), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Bègles), Rabah Slimani (Stade Français/Clermont), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon)

Backs: Henry Chavancy (Racing 92), Jonathan Danty (Stade Français), Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Nans Ducuing (Bordeaux-Bègles), Brice Dulin (Racing 92), Antoine Dupont (Castres), Gael Fickou (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Jules Plisson (Stade Français), Vincent Rattez (La Rochelle), Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Bègles), Scott Spedding (Clermont), Virimi Vakatawa (FFR)