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Six Nations Championship
Mas blow for France
PA Sport
February 17, 2009
France's Nicolas Mas pictured during a training session, Marcoussis, south of Paris, France, November 10, 2008
Mas will miss the first ever Six Nations clash to take place on a Friday night © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Marc Lievremont | Nicolas Mas
Tournaments/Tours: Six Nations
Teams: France

Nicolas Mas has been ruled out of France's Six Nations match against Wales next week with a strained left adductor.

The Perpignan prop was replaced at half-time in Les Bleus' 22-13 victory over Scotland last Saturday with the injury. And USAP have confirmed Mas will be sidelined for "at least two weeks", meaning he will miss the Wales showdown which takes place a week on Friday at the Stade de France.

With Benoit Lecouls (neck) also ruled out and Lionel Faure missing the Scotland win because of injury, the French have selection problems at prop. Faure should be fit for the clash with the Grand Slam champions but there is increasing talk of a recall for experienced Stade Francais front-row forward Sylvain Marconnet, who has not played for France since the 2007 Six Nations.

Head coach Marc Lievremont will name tomorrow his 23-man squad for the game. "We will see tomorrow," said Marconnet, who has played 71 times for his country. "I don't want to get myself too excited before it happens. If I am called up, it will be a great joy. But there will need to be a lot of work put in. It will be a big, big challenge for me."

Marconnet's last appearance for Les Bleus was a 32-21 win over Wales at the Stade de France just under two years ago.

Days after that game, he broke his leg while skiing with his family and he was not only ruled out of the rest of that Six Nations but also, in heartbreaking fashion, the World Cup later that year. Only in the last few months has he really got his form back for the Parisian aristocrats.

"I feel good," he added. "I have strung some matches together with Stade Francais, and my sensations and pleasure have returned.

"I have finally shrugged off all the pain. The train has left and I don't know if I am going to be able to get in it. But if I am called on, I will get myself over to Marcoussis very quickly."

Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz also sustained an injury against Scotland, but his thigh strain is not serious and he should be back for USAP's Top 14 match against Bayonne this weekend.

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