One more mission for French veterans

15th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - Veteran French forwards Raphael Ibanez and Fabien Pelous have one more mission to accomplish before bringing down the curtain on their international careers.

15 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - Veteran French forwards Raphael Ibanez and Fabien Pelous have one more mission to accomplish before bringing down the curtain on their international careers.

Skipper Ibanez and former captain Pelous, with 213 caps between them, want to shrug off the disappointment of their World Cup semi-final exit at the hands of England and make sure of third place when they face Argentina in Friday's bronze medal match.

"My personal future is not important. First of all we need to finish the tournament well for the French public with this match for third place," said 34-year-old hooker Ibanez whose 96-Test career has encompassed three World Cups.

"We have to bounce back and finish well. As a group, we have been valiant since the beginning of the competition and the defeat against Argentina.

"Saturday night was tough but there is still more rugby to come and more matches to play. We're not going to waste time stabbing ourselves."

Pelous, France's record cap holder with 117 appearances, may have to sit out Friday's third-place match at the Parc des Princes after picking up a rib injury in the 14-9 loss to England.

The 33-year-old said he has already made his mind up over the future but he will keep it under wraps until the World Cup has finished.

"I have made my decison but will wait until the end of the competition to make an announcement," said the second row forward.

"There is still the match for third place."

Pelous admitted that he will probably never play in a world title winning team.

"I've lived with that for 34 years and I will continue to survive despite that," he said.

"I have had the opportunity to win many titles with my club (Toulouse) and the World Cup is the only one missing.

"I'm sure I will have some regrets because in 1999 we could have done it (France lost in the final to Australia). In 2003, England were stronger (in the semi-finals) but this year, we could have done it."

AFP

Subject: French news

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