Benzema and Ben Arfa back for France

Forwards Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa are among the biggest names in Laurent Blanc's first France squad, for next week's friendly in Norway.

The pair were surprise exclusions from former coach Raymond Domenech's World Cup group, and were therefore exempt when the French football federation responded to a summer campaign of failure and infighting by suspending all 23 players involved.

Benzema's Real Madrid team-mate, midfielder Lassana Diarra, was ruled out of the tournament due to illness and is also therefore available to return, while there is a recall too for Arsenal's Samir Nasri in a 22-man group.

Blanc opted to snub Domenech's squad altogether following their return from South Africa with only one point and one goal after Nicolas Anelka's dismissal from the group had sparked a training-ground mutiny which saw the players refuse to train on June 20 - two days before facing the host nation.

The shadow squad contains 15 uncapped players in total, headed by Roma's Jeremy Menez, who overcame a minor knee injury suffered in Saturday's friendly against Paris St Germain to take his place in the squad.

Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia and reported Stoke target Loic Remy, currently at Nice, also stand to make their first senior international appearances.

Either Nicolas Douchez or Stephane Ruffier will play in goal for the first time, while Aly Cissokho, Mathieu Debuchy, Adil Rami, Mamadou Sakho and Benoit Tremoulinas feature in an inexperienced defensive septet in which only Menez's club-mate Philippe Mexes (13 caps) and Rennes' Rod Fanni (four) have played for their country before.

Lille's Yohan Cabaye, St Etienne duo Blaise Matuidi and Yann Mvila and Toulouse's Moussa Sissoko join N'Zogbia in the midfield running and PSG striker Guillaume Hoarau completes the uncapped contingent.

Diarra and Benzema, with 27 caps apiece, are by far the most experienced members of the squad, with Nasri (15) and Mexes the only others in double figures.

Up front, Ben Arfa has seven caps and Lyon's Jimmy Briand three.

The full 22-man squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Nicolas Douchez, Stephane Ruffier

Defence: Aly Cissokho, Mathieu Debuchy, Rod Fanni, Philippe Mexes, Adil Rami, Mamadou Sakho, Benoit Tremoulinas.

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye, Lassana Diara, Blaise Matuidi, Yann Mvila, Samir Nasri, Charles N'Zogbia, Moussa Sissoko.

Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema, Jimmy Briand, Guillaume Hoarau, Jeremy Menez, Loic Remy.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory