Chabal, Jauzion and Poitrenaud axed
May 11, 2011
Sebastien Chabal has been left out of the France squad for the World Cup © Getty Images
Sebastien Chabal, Yannick Jauzion and Clement Poitrenaud have been omitted from France's provisional 32-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.
Chabal was recently suspended for a fortnight after claiming that Top 14 referees are biased towards Castres and Biarritz, and was also one of the six players dropped by France coach Marc Lievremont after their embarrassing Six Nations defeat to Italy.
Jauzion, another dropped after the Italy upset, has also been left out, while Poitrenaud, his replacement at club level with Toulouse, has also been overlooked despite some good form.
"I assured Sebastien that he had been judged in terms of sport and that the controversy had nothing to do with my choice," Lievremont said. "Last year I saw Raphaël Lakafia progress and Louis Picamoles has great potential.
"The choice was not easy as Sebastien Chabal is important in the group. But I chose to focus on younger players to keep progressing."
Lievremont and his back-room staff have included three players who are currently injured in the hope that they recover in time for the tournament.
Clermont Auvergne captain Aurelien Rougerie, who suffered a serious ankle injury last weekend and is set to be sidelined for three to four months, makes the squad of 32, as does club team-mate Thomas Domingo, who has a knee injury. Fabien Barcella (Achilles) is the other player on whom Lievremont is prepared to gamble.
Biarritz back-rower Lakafia is the only uncapped player in the squad while Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz and Stade hooker Dimitri Szarzewski are also included as they continue to recover from long-standing shoulder and Achilles problems respectively. Lievremont must decide on his final squad of 30 by August 22.
Provisional France Rugby World Cup squad:
Forwards - William Servat (Toulouse), Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Français), Fabien Barcella (Biarritz), Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse), Luc Ducalcon (Castres), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Sylvain Marconnet (Biarritz), Pascal Papé (Stade Français), Julien Pierre (Clermont), Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Lionel Nallet (Racing-Métro 92), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse/Cap), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Raphaël Lakafia (Biarritz), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)
Backs - Morgan Parra (Clermont), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), David Skrela (Toulouse), François Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Fabrice Estebanez (Brive), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), David Marty (Perpignan), Aurélien Rougerie (Clermont), Maxime Médard (Toulouse), Alexis Palisson (Brive), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Bayonne), Cédric Heymans (Toulouse), Damien Traille (Biarritz)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"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