Full name David Skrela
Born March 2, 1979, Toulouse
Current age 35 years 300 days
Major teams Clermont Auvergne, France Barbarians, French Barbarians, Toulouse, France
Height 6 ft 3 in
Weight 207 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2007-2011||4||2||2||12||0||0||4||0||2||2||0||50.00|
|Test debut||New Zealand v France at Wellington, Jun 30, 2001 match details|
|Last Test||France v Japan at North Shore City, Sep 10, 2011 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Tournament list|
David Skrela has long divided opinions amongst coaches, fans and journalists but the French fly-half has proven a steady influence and reliable source of points for every team he has lined out for.
The son of legendary Les Bleus flanker Jean-Claude, Skrela has long been considered something of a late developer, which was perhaps down to the fact that he was instructed by his father to complete a diploma in civil engineering in his native Toulouse before fully focusing on a professional career in rugby.
However, when he was allowed to concentrate solely on the game, he excelled, playing his part in the transformation of Toulouse's second club, Colomiers, into a European force in the late 1990s before making the switch to Stade Francais in 2003.
Perhaps because of his versatility - Skrela was just at home at fullback as he was at fly-half - or even the nagging perception that he was overly cautious and did not have many strings to his bow, he struggled to nail down a regular berth in the Parisian team.
Indeed, it was only in late 2006 that Skrela managed to make the Stade No.10 jersey his own. That feat, coupled with injuries to Frederic Michalak and Benjamin Boyet, resulted in him earning his second international cap in the Six Nations clash with Italy in February, 2007, some six years after he had collected his first, against New Zealand in Wellington.
Skrela started the World Cup later that year as France's first-choice fly-half but was axed after failing to shine in the hosts' shock opening-day defeat by Argentina in Paris. He remained on the fringes of the French squad for the next year but was ultimately discarded at the tail end of 2008.
However, he forced hsi way back into the reckoning but is sometimes victim to coach Marc Lievremont's tendency to rotate his No.10 options - including playing versatile back Damien Traille in the berth on occasions. He was out of favour throughout the 2009-10 season for the national side but regained his position in the summer southern hemisphere tour.
After missing out on selection for the 2011 Six Nations due to a calf injury but he was recalled to the national side for their two warm-up Tests against Ireland in August 2011. He featured in both games - starting the second - and was rewarded with a place in the France 30-man squad for the 2011 tournament.
After winning two Top 14 championships with Stade, he made the move to Toulouse in the summer of 2008 and played an integral role in his hometown club's progression to the final of the Heineken Cup two years later, turning in talismanic displays in the quarter-final triumph over his former side Stade and against reigning champions Leinster in the last four.
However, prior to winning the Top 14 with Toulouse in 2011, Skrela announced he would join rivals Clermont Auvergne for the 2011-12 season.