Yachvili drafted in for injured Michalak
March 7, 2010
Yachvili made his last appearance for France against Australia last year © Getty Images
France have called Dimitri Yachvili into their squad for the Six Nations clash with Italy after Frederic Michalak was forced out by a knee injury.
Fly-half Michalak was forced off after injuring himself tackling Scotland back Hugo Southwell in the second minute of Toulouse's 29-0 win away to Stade Francais in the Top 14 yesterday. The 27-year-old told Canal Plus, "I felt a crack when I tried to tackle the Paris player. There was a crack at the outside of the knee. We will have to do tests to find out exactly what happened."
Biarritz scrum-half Yachvili only returned from a knee injury of his own in yesterday's 21-20 defeat at Toulon. The 29-year-old has 40 caps to his name but has not featured since the summer tour of the southern hemisphere last year, with Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc forming Marc Lievremont's first-choice half-back pairing and Michalak or Julien Dupuy deputising.
Michalak has won 54 caps for Les Bleus since his debut against South Africa in 2001. He has scored nine tries in that time to help him towards a total of 251 points, and landed a pressure penalty to ease rapidly fraying French nerves in the face of Wales' comeback last Friday.
But he has played just 37 minutes in three substitute appearances during this year's tournament and made only one appearance in the 2009 equivalent, as a second-half substitute against Italy.
Yachvili inspired Biarritz's best attacking moves in yesterday's near miss, scoring their second try from a five-metre scrum after creating the first for Damien Traille, and also kicked 10 points. The former Gloucester player is seen as a more reliable goalkicker than Michalak and has scored 253 international points in fewer caps and despite scoring only two tries.