Chabal was dropped by France for the Six Nations after last playing for Les Bleus in the World Cup semi-final defeat against England in October 2007.

He was afraid that his omission from the tour squad would signal the end of his international career.

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But since being left out, Chabal has been able to focus on his club form with Sale and a string of impressive performances have led him back into favour.

And the popular number eight, 30, was recalled by boss Marc Lievremont in a 26-man squad for the Tests in Sydney and Brisbane on June 28 and July 5.

The touring party does, however, include 12 newcomers.

"It was not easy but it's not a squad by default," Lievremont said.

"There will be a lot of young players, and some who are not so young. Our goal is to lay the foundations for the 2011 World Cup. We'll need those young players in New Zealand," he added.

Biarritz, ousted of the Top 14 semi-finals by Clermont, Toulouse, Paris and Perpignan, provide a backbone of six players to the squad including scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili, number eight Imanol Harinordoquy and centre Damien Traille.

"We had to take into account the fact that some players were very tired at the end of a long season which started with the World Cup," Lievremont added.

"Such was the case for Chabal. He had a four-week break whereas players like Jerome Thion, who was available, have been in action all year."

Livremont's younger brother Mathieu - a flanker - will lead the group of the debutants with scrumhalf Sebastien Tillous-Bordes, centre Thibault Lacroix and wings Jean-Baptiste Peyras and Alexis Palisson.

"All these new players will have nothing to lose. We are going to Australia to win but whatever the results there will be no lynching," assistant coach Emile Ntamack said.

France squad for Australia tour:

Forwards: Sebastien Bruno, Benjamin Kayser, Lionel Faure, Pierre Correia, Benoit Lecouls, Renaud Boyoud, Lionel Nallet (captain), David Couzinet, Sebastien Chabal, Louis Picamoles, Imanol Harinordoquy, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Mathieu Lievremont, Yannick Caballero.

Backs: Dimitri Yachvili, Sebastien Tillous-Bordes, Francois Trinh-Duc, Benjamin Boyet, Damien Traille, Thibault Lacroix, Maxime Mermoz, Benjamin Thiery, Jean-Baptiste Peyras, Alexis Palisson, David Janin, Pepito Elhorga.

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