Caveman Chabal ready for friendly fire

9th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - Sebastien Chabal, the imposing, bearded image of the World Cup, won't allow sentiment to distract him when France clash with England in the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

9 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - Sebastien Chabal, the imposing, bearded image of the World Cup, won't allow sentiment to distract him when France clash with England in the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

Chabal, one of three French players who ply their club trade in England, is part of the Sale Sharks squad from where the English have drawn Andrew Sheridan and Mark Cueto and where Jason Robinson played last season.

England should not expect any favours from the man called the Caveman when they meet at the Stade de France.

When Chabal came face-to-face with his clubmates in the Six Nations in 2005, he left fly-half Charlie Hodgson in no doubt as to his intentions.

"I left him Chabal a message," said Sale coach Kingsley Jones at the time.

"I said it's great that he and Sebastien Bruno were playing, then I said: "Please don't run at Charlie too much." In fact, my actual words were: "Don't kill him."'

Niels de Vos, Sale's chief executive, also shuddered at the potential damage.

"When he and Charlie were selected, I overheard him say to Charlie in his broken English: "When we play, I run at you." And a big grin spread across his face. In France his nickname is The Anaesthetist'."

*sidebar1*Chabal has admitted that life in the north of England has not been easy since his 2004 move.

"It's a very different way of life. The weather's bad. It rains a lot. Above all, I find the food bizarre. I hardly ever eat English food," said Chabal.

"My wife and I share the cooking at home. I cook lasagne, boeuf bourguignon, anything really. And when we go out we look for French restaurants. I don't think much of the English food I have tried. I certainly don't like fish and chips."

There will be plenty of interest in Saturday's match at Adams Park in High Wycombe, to the west of London, where European champions Wasps are based.

They can boast six players in the England squad - former international skipper Lawrence Dallaglio, Simon Shaw, Josh Lewsey, Paul Sackey, Joe Worsley and current captain Phil Vickery.

Vickery will be in the front row on Saturday where, across from him, will be the familiar face of Raphael Ibanez, the French skipper who has been a Wasps teammate for two seasons.

The England captain is known as the Raging Bull while Ibanez, from a Basque background, has El Toro tattooed on his arm.

"Every day I push open the club doors at Wasps I feel I am going to improve my game. As long as I keep that feeling, I will enjoy what I do," said Ibanez who will win his 97th cap on Saturday.

Ibanez has become a cult hero at Wasps after scoring one of the tries in the European Cup win over Leicester in May.

AFP

Subject: French news

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