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)
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape
Move over, Castro - from falling off a chair to stepping off the team bus, Scrum Sevens recounts some of the strangest rugby injuries ever
Martin Gillingham on the latest from France and why the national side can learn a thing or two from Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles