PARIS – Clermont flyhalf Camille Lopez will not join up with the France squad for their upcoming tour of South Africa, instead being rested after a long season, his coach Guy Noves said on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Lopez, who has won 16 caps for his country, will feature for Clermont in Sunday’s French Top 14 final against Toulon.
He was due to join up with Les Bleus in South Africa next week, but will now not travel. And Noves will not call up a replacement, for now anyway.
“For the moment, I prefer to wait,” Noves told AFP, confirming an earlier report by sports daily L’Equipe.
The coach had already chosen not to call up two of Lopez’s Clermont colleagues in centre Remi Lamerat and loose forward Damien Chouly.
Lopez has become a first-choice for his country since Francois Trinh-Duc picked up an injury playing against Samoa in November, but Sunday’s final will be his 31st match of the season. Seven of those matches have been for France.
France play three Test matches against the Springboks on June 10 in Pretoria, June 17 in Durban and June 24 in Johannesburg.
The Toulon trio of Xavier Chiiocci, Guilhem Guirado and Romain Taofifenua and Clermont’s Arthur Iturria, Damian Penaud and Scott Spedding will join up with the France squad in South Africa after the Top 14 final.