Triple blow for France

FRANCE have been hit by a triple blow ahead of their Six Nations clash against Ireland with the news that Aurelien Rougerie, Luc Ducalcon and Benjamin Fall have all been forced to pull out of the side.

Marc Lièvremont had initially included the trio in his squad for Saturday’s game despite them carrying knocks. Rougerie lasted only a few minutes of France’s impressive victory over Scotland in their opener at Murrayfield, and the Clermont Auvergne wing has been replaced by Brive’s Alexis Palisson.

The 22-year-old, who has five caps, was dropped from the squad when it was cut from 30 to 25.

Reports suggest Rougerie could be sidelined for up to three weeks.

Toulouse prop Jean-Baptiste Poux replaces Ducalcon with the 30-year-old coming back into the France squad for the first time in two years. There seemed to be better news about Fall, who was initially pronounced fit today, but the Bayonne wing has now been replaced by Clermont’s Julien Malzieu for the clash in Paris against the Grand Slam champions.

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