Stade Francais Paris lock Pascal Pape - who has helped his club to the brink of Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final qualification as runaway Pool 5 winners - is to stay as captain of France for the 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Coach Philippe Saint-Andre announced that despite the return to the squad of Thierry Dusautoir his selection was for Pape to remain as skipper.
The Stade Francais forward, capped 45 times for his country, was handed the skipper's role for France's November Test matches after Dusautoir was rested to fully recover from injuries.
The French won all three games under his captaincy against Australia, Argentina and Samoa - and that was enough to convince Saint-Andre to stick with Pape despite the return of Dusautoir.
Dusautoir has captained France 31 times in 54 appearances, most notably at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand where France reached the final and he was named international player of the year.
In announcing a 33-strong squad, Saint-Andre also handed a return to the international scene to powerful Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud, who has been out of favour since the win over England in March 2010.
Elsewhere, Saint-Andre largely stuck with the group that he used in the November Tests, with the only uncapped player being 22-year-old Perpignan lock Romain Taofifeuna.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.