Jeanjean In Race Against Time To Be Fit To Face Wales
3 February 2002 11:00am
The French are facing a full back crisis in the wake of their 33-12 Lloyds TSB Six Nations victory over Italy.
Already without their teenage star Clement Poitrenaud with a shoulder injury, they lost his Toulouse clubmate Nicolas Jeanjean with a badly bruised leg at Stade de France.
Jeanjean limped out of the game after 53 minutes and could be out for two weeks.
That makes it touch and go for him to be fit in time to face Wales in Cardiff on February 16.
A third Toulouse palyer, the 25-year-old Xavier Garbajosa, came on to replace Jeanjean and will be on stand-by to play at the Millennium Stadium.
French coach Bernard Laporte will be looking for an improvement in his side's performance against Wales, who made it two wins in a row in Paris for the first time in 50 years last season.
"It is going to be a big, big game for us against Wales. We will have to retrieve our enthusiasm because it's going to be a huge challenge for us," said Laporte.
"Wales beat us in Paris last year and we have to put the record straight after that. We've got to win.
"The loss of Raphael Ibanez, Patrick Tabacco and Fabien Galthie to our starting line-up affected our cohesion against Italy and took it's toll on us.
"Wales are a very good team and our next match is going to be a major challenge."
French captain Olivier Magne blamed a lack of rhythm for a lacklustre first hour against the Azzurri.
"The Italians caused us a lot of problems by preventing us form getting the ball," said magne.
"You didn't see the true face of this French team because we weren't in the right rhythm.
"But without doubt we will show that against Wales in two weeks time. I've got a lot of hope for this team and we will sort out our problems and be in better shape by the time we face Wales."
After two years in the international wilderness, Adi Taviner is hoping to make up for lost time when she takes part in her second Women's Rugby World Cup which kicks off in Paris next Friday where Wales take on hosts, France.
The WRU's Women and Girls legacy events - #TRY OUR GAME have proved popular this week with current players and newcomers to the game learning new skills and picking up tips from national squad players.
We caught up with Shona and Ellie from the Wales women team ahead of the start of the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris next month at a recent women's training session to encourage and promote more women and girls to try their hand at rugby. #tryourgame
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales completed their Junior World Championship campaign with a victory over Samoa. Team manager Mark Taylor and No 8 James Benjamin reflect on a tournament which saw Wales win three games and lose two.