French duo sit out training camp
June 29, 2011
Lievremont is under pressure to impress after a much-criticised Six Nations campaign © AFP/Getty Images
France's 33-man preliminary World Cup squad has gathered for the first time with two key faces missing.
Prop Thomas Domingo and centre Aurelien Rougerie are both undergoing physiotherapy in the South of France following Domingo's knee operation and Rougerie's foot operation. Both players are considered essential to Lievremont's plans after they both featured prominently during the Six Nations and face a race against time to prove their fitness ahead of the World Cup. There are further question marks over both of their top hookers, William Servat and Dimitri Szarzewski, who are suffering from a knee and an Achilles tendon injury respectively.
Lievremont has further concerns over prop Fabien Barcella (Achilles), centre Maxime Mermoz (shoulder) and back Damien Traille (foot). Following the side meeting in Marcoussis on Tuesday, Lievremont expects the intense work to begin on Thursday.
France have also unveiled their new playing strip for this year's rugby World Cup in New Zealand and have used two famous wins over the All Blacks as inspiration behind the new design. The jersey has two tones of blue, the top half being the shade worn in the 43-31 semi-final defeat of the All Blacks in 1999 and the bottom half the same worn in the controversial 20-18 win in Cardiff in 2007. The socks are also two-toned in the same two shades of blue as the jersey.
France face New Zealand on September 24 in Auckland but in all likelihood will have to wear their change shirt due to a clash with the Kiwi's black shirts. France kick-off their World Cup campaign against Japan in North Harbour on September 10. Lievremont will name his final 30-man squad on August 22.
France's 33-man training squad:
Forwards: Barcella (Biarritz), Domingo (Clermont), Poux ( Toulouse ), Servat (Toulouse), Szarzewski ( Stade Francais ), Guirado ( Perpignan ), Ducalcon (Castres), Mas (Perpignan), Marconnet (Biarritz), Pape ( Stade Francais), Pierre (Clermont), Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Nallet (Racing-Metro), Bonnaire (Clermont), Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Dusautoir (Toulouse, cap.), Ouedraogo ( Montpellier ), Lakafia (Biarritz) , Picamoles (Toulouse).
Backs: Parra (Clermont), Yachvili (Biarritz), Skrela (Toulouse), Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Estebanez ( Brive ), Mermoz (Perpignan), Marty (Perpignan), Rougerie (Clermont), Medard (Toulouse), Palisson (Brive), Clerc (Toulouse), Huget (Bayonne), Heymans (Toulouse), Traille (Biarritz)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside