France recalls old hands for Wales clash

15th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

MARCOUSSIS, France, Feb 14 (AFP) - France coach Bernard Laporte paid little heed to the 18-17 victory over England on Monday when he recalled three of last year's Six Nations Grand Slam heros for the crucial clash with Wales on February 26.

MARCOUSSIS, France, Feb 14 (AFP) - France coach Bernard Laporte paid little heed to the 18-17 victory over England on Monday when he recalled three of last year's Six Nations Grand Slam heros for the crucial clash with Wales on February 26.

The 40-year-old recalled the fit again trio of No 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, winger Aurelien Rougerie and centre Yannick Jauzion, France's player of the year while the uncapped fullback Julien Laharrague of Brive is the fourth player to be called up.

Out go back row forward Sebastien Chabal, who has disappointed in the opening two matches after returning from 15 months in the cold and will be tried out in the second row on the summer tour of South Africa and Australia, fullback Pepito Elhorga, the injured winger Jimmy Marlu and South African-born centre Brian Liebenberg.

France manager Jo Maso said that Liebenberg hadn't stepped up to the plate in his centre partnership with Damien Traille as they had hoped he would.

"Brian hid himself a bit too much," said Maso.

Laporte said that Elhorga had simply not been at ease in the opening two matches, highlighted when the 27-year-old threw the ball deliberately into touch when he was under pressure from two England players in the second-half and conceded a penalty.

"Pepito has simply lacked a calmness about him and Laharrague will give us an extra dimension in attack," said Laporte, who remains on course for his third Grand Slam since taking over in November 1999 after the World Cup final.

Harinordoquy has not played in either of the opening matches, the 24-year-old 31-times capped Biarritz star missing the 16-9 victory over Scotland and the English clash because of a shoulder injury.

Rougerie, 24 years old and capped 33 times, suffered a facial injury in the Scotland match while 26-year-old Jauzion had a leg injury which kept him from adding to his 22 caps in the first two matches.

The starting XV will be named on February 22.

Squad: Backs: Pierre Mignoni (Clermont), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), Yann Delaigue (Castres), Frederic Michalak (Stade Toulousain), Damien Traille (Biarritz), Yannick Jauzion (Stade Toulousain), Jean-Philippe Grandclaude (Perpignan), Christophe Dominici (Stade Francais), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont), Julien Laharrague (Brive) Forwards: William Servat (Stade Toulousain), Sebastien Bruno (Sale/ENG), Olivier Milloud (Bourgoin), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Français), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Fabien Pelous (Stade Toulousain, capt), Jerome Thion (Perpignan), Gregory Lamboley (Stade Toulousain), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Serge Betsen (Biarritz), Julien Bonnaire (Bourgoin), Yannick Nyanga (Beziers).

© AFP

Subject: French News

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