More Injury Worries For France Ahead Of Their Welsh Assignment
9 February 2002 20:39
France were plunged into an even greater injury crisis when Elvis
Vermeulen, Fabien Galthie and Yannick Bru were all ruled out of Saturday's Lloyds TSB Six Nations clash with Wales over the weekend.
Montferrand back row man Vermeulen was in line to replace South African-born No8 Steven Hall, whilst Galthie was due
to come back in to the side at scrum half and take over as captain from the suspended Olivier Magne.
Vermeulen was carried off with a knee injury in Montferrand's 20-12 victory at Bordeaux-Begles whilst Galthie has not recovered from the injury which kept him out of France's opening victory over Italy and will miss his second game of the campaign.
Toulouse hooker Bru was set to move down to the replacements bench to accommodate the return of Raphael Ibanez, but now he will have to be replaced because of a nagging knee injury.
Already ruled out of the Wales game are the suspended Magne, Toulouse full backs Clement Poitrenaud and Nicolas
Jeanjean, and Montferrand wing David Bory.
French coach Bernard Laporte, who watched the Montferrand game in Bordeaux on Saturday, said: "We will have to make do with what we have got, although it is very disappointing to lose so many players so close to the game."
The injuries mean that Toulouse's versatile teenager Frederic Michalak will play at scrum half, Hall will almost certainly retain his place at No8 and Ibanez is likely to return as both hooker and captain.
Gloucester's Olivier Azam, who made a try scoring return for his club in their win over London Irish on saturday, could be a possible candidate to act as replacmeent hooker.
The French squad will meet near Paris on Monday before flying to Cardiff on
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.