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French Rugby
Mermoz doubt for Japan test
ESPNscrum Staff
September 1, 2011
France centre Maxime Mermoz launches a counter-attack, France v Ireland, World Cup warm-up Test, Stade Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux, France, August 13, 2011
Mermoz has been restricted to just nine caps due to injury © Getty Images
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Centre Maxime Mermoz is set to miss France's opening game of the 2011 World Cup with a knee injury.

Mermoz sustained the injury against Ireland on August 13 and has been unable to train properly since and now looks likely to miss out on selection for the clash with Japan on September 10.

The Perpignan back has been training separately from the rest of the French team upon arrival in New Zealand. Mermoz has struggled the injuries in the past, notably during the 2011 Six Nations when a shoulder injury limited his participation.

And French boss Marc Lievremont conceded that they are likely to go into the opening fixture without the nine-cap Perpignan centre. "It would be complicated to line him up for the first match," said Lievremont. "He could probably play if absolutely necessary but he hasn't trained for three weeks. He'll try to start again at the start of next week but we've got enough players in his position to not take any risks."

There was better news for Lievremont however with the news that Raphael Lakafia, Damien Traille, Imanol Harinordoquy and Romain Millo-Chluski have recovered from their respective injuries and were able to train with the rest of the squad.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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