Mermoz injury blow for France
February 5, 2011
William Servat looks to off-load under pressure from Alastair Kellock during Saturday's game in Paris © PA Photos
France boss Marc Lievremont has confirmed that centre Maxime Mermoz will not be available for next weekend's Six Nations clash with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
Mermoz was forced from the field just five minutes into the second half of Les Bleus' 34-21 victory over Scotland in Paris on Saturday and Lievremont confirmed afterwards that the Perpignan ace picked up a shoulder injury which will rule him out of the trip to Dublin.
Despite the setback, France will travel in confidence on the back of a hugely encouraging opening to the defence of their Championship crown. They were far from flawless defensively, conceding three tries in total, to Alastair Kellock, Kelly Brown and Sean Lamont. However, France notched four of their own, through Maxime Medard, Imanol Harinordoquy, Damien Traille and a penalty try, and always looked in control.
"This is exactly the kind of match we were expecting, I'm very happy. It was a victory first of all and you can imagine it wasn't easy preparation," he said, alluding to the fact that France went into the game with the memory of last November's capitulation at home to Australia fresh in their minds.
"We did master this game but we must admit we had a few mistakes which the Scots were able to take advantage of. The Scots were always in the game, even though we were ahead."
Meanwhile, Lievremont's skipper, Thierry Dusautoir, was ecstatic that his side had gone some way towards atoning for their aforementioned autumnal annihilation at the hands of the Wallabies.
"Two months ago we were all very worried. We all had pin-pointed February 5 and this game," the flanker said. "We tried to forget everything, we just focused on the victory and the game. We were very pleased with the result. We knew the Scottish team was going to be difficult and we are very satisfied with the result."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games