Marconnet misses out
Sylvain Marconnet has been dropped from France's World Cup squad after failing to overcome an ankle injury.
By Michael Wise
Last Updated: 21/08/07 10:21am
Sylvain Marconnet has lost his race to be fit in time for the World Cup, with France dropping him from their 30-man squad for next month's tournament.
The 31-year-old Stade Francais player, who, with 71 appearances, is Les Bleus' most capped prop, was named in Bernard Laporte's squad despite having suffered a fracture to his left shinbone whilst skiing in March.
Marconnet subsequently underwent surgery, but after suffering an ankle inflammation earlier this month, his surgeon has decided that another operation is now necessary.
Mas called up
Nicolas Mas has therefore been drafted into the squad, the Perpignan player coming off the bench to give a strong display in France's 22-9 victory against England in Marseille on Saturday.
"I'm obviously very upset not to make this World Cup in France and leave my team-mates in the France team," Marconnet said.
"I thank the team's sporting and medical staff for having supported me in my attempt to be fit for the tournament.
"But I have to follow the advice of my surgeon and quickly undergo surgery so I'm back on my feet as soon as possible to play for my club, Stade Francais."
Coming after the withdrawal of another squad member, Elvis Vermuelen, Marconnet's absence will be seen as a blow for the host nation.
Already missing another veteran prop, Christian Califano, France must navigate Pool D - the obligatory 'Group of Death' - comprising Argentina, Ireland, Georgia and Namibia in order to reach the latter stages of the event.