Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Frances big winger Aurelien Rougerie made quite an impact against Scotland on the weekend. In less than five minutes he managed to put in two huge hits, injuring himself in the process and ruling out the chance of being selected to play Ireland.
The Clermont wing hadnt played for his country in about two years, so was clearly pumped up as he chased the kickoff and timed the great hit on Kelly Brown perfectly. The statement of intent backfired though.
Unfortunately Rougerie came off worse, needing treatment on his arm and shoulder before soldiering on. Undeterred, a minute or so later he flew into another Scottish player, doing more damage to himself.
The kamikaze winger took the full impact of Johnnie Beatties shoulder to the jaw in a horrible looking collision that effectively ended his match. He did stay on for a minute or so, but when the ball came to him out wide, he dropped it and threw in the towel, less than five minutes into the game.
The injury to his neck is less serious than initially thought, but he underwent tests on Monday evening and will be out of action for two to three weeks.
It was a long wait for him to get back into the French side, and sadly for him, two big collisions in the space of a few minutes ended it. Vincent Clerc replaced him, and will stay in the side for the big match against Ireland this weekend in Paris.
Alexis Palisson will also play, as debutant Benjamin Fall is also out injured. Julien Malzieu from Clermont, and Jean-Baptiste Poux also join the squad.
"You don't change a winning team," said coach Marc Lievremont. "Playing Vincent Clerc from the start shouldn't cause a debate, there was a lot of discussion on who to play on the left wing.
"We decided to go with the versatility and left foot of Alexis Palisson.
"We know the qualities of Julien Malzieu but it seemed interesting to us to have the presence of Alexis alongside Clement Poitrenaud."
Bastareaud brace helps France to win over Scotland
Aurelien Rougerie tribute ahead of the Top 14 Final