Szarzewski missing for Stade
Stade hooker loses finess battle for Quins cruicial clash
Last Updated: May 17, 2011 5:11pm
Szarzewski will miss Stade Francais' Challenge Cup fnial aganist Harlequins
Stade Francais forward Dimitri Szarzewski will miss Friday's Amlin Challenge Cup final against Halequins after losing his fitness battle.
The France hooker, who missed the RBS Six Nations after undergoing an Achilles tendon operation in January, has resumed training but will not be fit enough to play.
The news comes as a blow to Stade coach Michael Cheika ahead of a match where the winner qualifies for next season's European Cup.
"Dimitri was really hungry to play. I know he did all he could to return as early as possible but he was the one who came to me to say that he wasn't ready."
Michael Cheika Quotes of the week
"Dimitri was really hungry to play," said Cheika, "I know he did all he could to return as early as possible but he was the one who came to me to say that he wasn't ready.
Szarzewski, who has won 48 caps for Les Bleus, will be replaced by Remi Bonfils for the game against the Aviva Premiership side.
And with third choice Laurent Sempere injured and no specialist cover, Cheika will be praying that his only fit hooker suffers no mishaps.
"Bonfils has done all I have asked of him during the three months with all the extra pressure as we didn't have another fit hooker," he added.
"He is young (22), but he has played all the matches. Even if Szarzewski had been match ready, Bonfils would have started."
Cheika is also without the services of experienced Scottish full-back Hugo Southwell, who has a knee injury.