Benzema returns to Les Blues
© AFP

Laurent Blanc has named forwards Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa in his first France squad for next week's friendly in Norway.

The pair were surprise exclusions from former coach Raymond Domenech's FIFA 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 Lassana Diarra was ruled out of the tournament due to illness and is also therefore available to return, while there is also a recall for Arsenal's Samir Nasri in a 22-man squad.

Blanc opted to snub Domenech's squad altogether when they returned 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 20 June - 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.