Elissalde ruled out of Murrayfield clash
February 4, 2010
Elissalde's injury has opened the door for club-mate Frederic Michalak © Getty Images
Jean-Baptiste Elissalde has been forced to pull out of France's Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield and will be replaced by Toulouse team-mate Frederic Michalak.
It is the latest in a long line of injury problems for Les Bleus, who already had to make do without Biarritz trio Fabien Barcella, Damien Traille and Dimitri Yachvili before Sebastien Chabal and Romain Millo-Chluski were ruled out.
It is also a huge blow for Elissalde who, having been named as a replacement, was on the verge of making his first appearance for France since 2008 before pulling up with a calf injury. "Wednesday at training I felt a pain inside my calf which didn't seem to be too acute to me," said Elissalde. "I even thought it might be a spasm. This morning, when I got up, it was hard for me to move my foot, to walk."
Elissalde also revealed he is unlikely to be fit in time for France's second game against Ireland. The 32-year-old is replaced by Michalak, who was left out of the original 30-man squad to many people's surprise.
France: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse); B Fall (Bayonne), M Bastareaud (Stade Francais), Y Jauzion (Toulouse), A Rougerie (Clermont); F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Parra (Clermont); T Domingo (Clermont), W Servat (Toulouse), N Mas (Perpignan), L Nallet (Racing Metro), P Pape (Stade Francais), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), F Ouedraogo (Montpellier), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
Replacements: D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), L Ducalcon (Castres), J Pierre (Clermont), J Bonnaire (Clermont), F Michalak (Toulouse), D Marty (Perpignan), V Clerc (Toulouse), S Marconnet (Stade Francais)
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action
The latest Week in Pictures takes in some original ways of welcoming teams to the field and plenty of tries from the European Champions Cup