France coach Bernard Laporte has hinted that Saracens hooker Raphael Ibanez could make a return to the national side for the summer Test matches should his good club form continue.
Ibanez, 32, called time on his international career at the end of the 2003 World Cup in Australia after being capped 72 times but is one of 70 players that is being closely monitored by the French coaches.
The hooker underwent physical tests in Marcoussis, the French team's headquarters near Paris, last September and could well appear in the blue shirt when France take on South Africa and Australia in June.
"Why not take Raphael Ibanez with us for the summer tour, especially if Fabien [Pelous] does not come?" said Laporte.
Pelous, together with fellow veterans Serge Betsen, Sylvain Marconnet, Yann Delaigue and Christophe Dominici, are expected to be rested in the summer.
"Raphael is an experienced player and has a lot of things to bring to the group and his return will also depend on his good performances with his club," Laporte continued.
Meanwhile, Laporte has also made it clear he wants to shortlist 40 players by the start of 2006 in a bid to be better prepared for the 2007 World Cup.
The 2017 RBS 6 Nations was watched by record numbers of fans
29 March 2017, 12:25pm
After an enthralling RBS 6 Nations Championship of twists, turns, and no small amount of drama on the last day, figures show the RBS 6 Nations is going from strength to strength, year on year, with no sign of slowing down.