France suffer double injury blow

Nov 6, 2017 - 4:35 PM Injury has forced France into making a double player change to their giant squad ahead of their Test against the All Blacks in Paris.

Coach Guy Noves was forced to rule centre Remi Lamerat and uncapped prop Antoine Guillamon out of Saturday's clash, replaced by Gael Fickou and Mohamed Boughanmi respectively.

Toulouse flyer Fickou, 23, was a surprise omission from the original squad, having racked up 32 Test caps, including a bench appearance in last year's tense 24-19 loss to New Zealand in Paris.

Boughanmi's lone Test came this year against the Springboks in Pretoria.

Last week, New Zealand-born winger Virimi Vakatawa was ruled out with a sprained knee, replaced by Vincent Rattez.

The injury proved irrelevant as Vakatawa, who shone in last year's Paris clash, was later suspended for five weeks for a dangerous tackle which earned a red card during a club match for Racing 92.

Noves has been overseeing 46 players at Les Bleus' training base in Marcoussis.

Fourteen of them have already been signposted to play in a France XV to meet the midweek All Blacks in Lyon on Tuesday next week.

Nine more will join them when Noves announces his Test 23 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, doubt still hovers over the fitness of All Blacks Rieko Ioane and Jerome Kaino, with an update expected on Tuesday.

Brilliant winger Ioane contracted the mumps and was isolated from team-mates during much of the tour's first week in London.

Kaino suffered knee ligament damage in the 31-22 win over the Barbarians at Twickenham, leaving the veteran flanker in doubt not just for the Paris Test, but the remainder of the tour.

Flanker Matt Todd missed the Barbarians match with a groin niggle but is expected to be available.

France squad: Mathieu Bastareaud, Anthony Belleau, Hugo Bonneval, Mohamed Boughanmi, Judicael Cancoriet, Raphael Chaume, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Nans Ducuing, Antoine Dupont, Gael Fickou, Paul Gabrillagues, Kevin Gourdon, Guilhem Guirado, Yoann Huget, Anthony Jelonch, Daniel Kotze, Gabriel Lacroix, Felix Lambey, Clement Maynadier, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Damian Penaud, Louis Picamoles, Jefferson Poirot, Baptiste Serin, Rabah Slimani, Scott Spedding, Roman Taofifenua, Marco Tauleigne, Teddy Thomas, Christopher Tolofua, Francois Trinh-Duc, Sebastien Vahaamahina.

France XV players: Camille Chat, Henry Chavancy, Gael Fickou, Malik Hamadache, Paul Jedrasiak, Bernard Le Roux, Yann Lesgourgues, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Machenaud, Yoanne Maestri, Jules Plisson, Lucas Pointud, Dany Priso, Vincent Rattez.

Source: AAP

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