Triple injury blow for France
January 12, 2010
Rising star Fabien Barcella will be sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury © Getty Images
France coach Marc Lièvremont has been dealt a triple injury blow ahead of this year's battle for the Six Nations crown.
Loose-head prop Fabien Barcella, utility back Damien Traille and scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili are set to miss the bulk of the Championship after all picking up knee injuries in Biarritz's 25-15 Top 14 defeat to Stade Francais on Saturday.
Barcella and Traille, who both started for Les Bleus in their last outing - a 39-12 defeat at the hands of New Zealand at the Stade Velodrome in November, will be out of action for an estimated eight and six weeks respectively while Yachvili is also facing several weeks on the sidelines. The veteran No.9, last capped on France's tour of Australia and New Zealand last year, was in line to benefit from the absence of Julien Dupuy who was handed a six month ban for eye-gouging last month - although he is appealing the sanction.
The news is also a blow to Biarritz's Heineken Cup hopes as they prepare for their final two pool matches - away at Gloucester this weekend and at home to Glasgow on January 24. Biarritz currently lead Pool 2 by 10 points from second-placed Gloucester, meaning a losing bonus point from either of their two remaining pool games will guarantee qualification for the knockout stages.
Lièvremont will name his Six Nations squad on January 20 ahead of their opening Championship clash against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 7.
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time