Triple injury blow for Les Bleus
November 6, 2010
Toulouse hooker William Servat will miss France's clash with Fiji through injury © Getty Images
France have been rocked by the loss of William Servat, Pascal Pape and Jonathan Wisniewski for their opening autumnal assignment, against Fiji next weekend.
Toulouse hooker Servat has been sidelined with tendonitis, resulting in a call-up for Racing Metro's Benjamin Noirot.
"We have sent him [Servat] back to his club for eight days hoping that he will return after the Fiji match," Les Bleus boss Marc Lievremont is quoted as saying by AFP.
"It has been several weeks now that he has been looked after at Toulouse. We do not want to take the slightest risk with his health, and to lose him for an indefinite period."
Noirot has never been capped by his country before and admitted that he did not expect to be drafted into the squad.
"I was only thinking of going on holiday [the Top 14 has a month-long break]," he said. "But I got a call this morning from Pierre Berbizier [Racing-Metro's team manager] telling me that Marc Lievremont had been in touch with him and I had to go and join up with the squad at Marcoussis.
"I am delighted. In my head, I was on holiday. I have cancelled them but I am very happy. Everyone who has donned the France shirt knows that this is an enormous moment!"
Pape, meanwhile, has been forced to withdraw after taking a knock to his thigh and has been replaced by Biarritz lock Jerome Thion. There is also a recall for Toulouse fly-half David Skrela on account of Wisniewski having been ruled out with a knee injury.
Lievremont had already lost Stade Francais hooker Dimitri Szarzewski to an Achilles problem but the France head coach did receive some good news on Saturday regarding the fitness of forward duo Julien Bonnaire and Imanol Harinordoquy.
"Julien can train this afternoon. There is no worries with regard to the blow he took in the Top 14 match against La Rochelle on Thursday," said Lievremont.
"Imanol has traces of an old broken rib. He will also be on the training ground either this evening or on Sunday but in principal he should be able to take his place."
France squad v Fiji:
Forwards: Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Jerome Schuster (Perpignan), Luc Ducalcon (Castres), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan), Benjamin Noirot (Racing-Metro), Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Lionel Nallet (Racing-Metro), Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Julien Pierre (Clermont), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), Alexandre Lapandry (Clermont), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Sebastien Chabal (Racing-Metro), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz).
Backs: Morgan Parra (Clermont), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), Damien Traille (Biarritz), David Skrela (Toulouse), Fabrice Estebanez (Brive), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), David Marty (Perpignan), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont), Marc Andreu (Castres), Julien Arias (Stade Francais), Yoann Huget (Bayonne), Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Alexis Palisson (Brive), Jerome Porical (Perpignan).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall
John Griffiths digs into the distant past to try to establish the identity of an England international whose life is a virtual mystery