Faure has dilemma solved

Sharks prop earns belated selection to dismiss England switch

By Joe Drabble.   Last Updated: 05/02/08 7:41am

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Faure: Ready for debut challenge

Faure: Ready for debut challenge

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Lionel Faure is relieved to have finally been called up to the France squad for the RBS Six Nations as it has quashed the potentially painful dilemma of switching his allegiance to England.

The Sale Sharks man would qualify for an England call-up from this summer onwards having acquired English citizenship.

The 30-year-old prop admitted being approached by the England management about the possibility, however his selection in Les Bleus squad for this year's RBS Six Nations has put an end to that possibility.

"England's forwards coach actually contacted my club to find out where I was up to, having spent a number of years in England, and when I would have been available," he said.

"It would have been in June 2008 and the question would have been asked at that time.

"Now, of course, it will no longer be asked."

Pedigree

Faure has produced a string of impressive performances for the Sharks over the past couple of years - with the France selectors appearing to have finally taken note.

With Olivier Milloud, Sylvain Marconnet and Pieter De Villiers all unavailable after suffering various injuries, Faure was an obvious replacement for new coach Marc Lievremont.

There is no doubting Faure's pedigree, and after spells with Clermont-Auvergne, La Rochelle and Pau, the journeyman is finally set for his debut at Murrayfield on Sunday.

"It is going to be something else, that's for sure," said Faure.

"Having said that, I believe I have been lucky enough to play Heineken Cup matches with Sale at the highest level, notably against Stade Francais last season.

"I am going to have to be quite careful with my positioning and not just run around everywhere, because after 20 minutes, I risk being shot to pieces.

Inexperienced

"I have to manage my efforts but by playing every weekend, I believe you get prepared for this, even though these are matches at a different level."

France will line up with a distinctly inexperienced front row with props Faure and Julien Brugnaut both uncapped and Toulouse hooker William Servat making his return to international action after a lengthy absence.

Despite the potential frailties Faure is confident his pack can stamp their authority against the Scots in that department.

"We are going to have to find some cohesion quickly and be ready for Sunday," he added.

"But the atmosphere is good and everything has gone well within the squad.

"On Sunday, Julien and I want to show our worth and rise to the challenge."

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