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)
"If England flounder in the next World Cup the knives will be out - six-year contract or not." Tom Hamilton on the new contract for the England coaches
With the deadline for World Cup ticket applications now over, Tom May outlines his hopes, gripes and wishes for next year's global gathering
Floundering Leicester, exquisite Exeter and two old England players tearing up trees - it's the Monday Maul
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship and all the domestic action from the northern hemisphere