Fofana still in doubt as France coach Brunel considers options

Fujiyoshida (Japan) (AFP) –


France centre Wesley Fofana remains a doubt for France's World Cup opener next weekend but coach Jacques Brunel said on Saturday that he had the framework for the team that will face Argentina in Tokyo.

The 31-year-old Fofana, who is retiring from international rugby after the World Cup, missed France's warm-up match against Scotland in Edinburgh with a thigh injury and the same problem has caused the centre to sit out training since Wednesday.

"We are going to wait until the start of the week to see how he is," said Brunel at a press conference in Fuyoshida.

"He is in rehabilitation. He trained on his own this morning (Saturday), he will do the same tomorrow and on Monday we will see whether he will be able to take part in this match or not.

"He needs to feel absolutely certain so it is more down to him. So we will wait."

Brunel has juggled players consistently over the course of France's warm-up matches but insisted he had now decided on most of the team to face the Pumas.

"I am certain about the bulk of the side. Beyond that, there are still some individual cases."

Questions have been raised this week about whether captain Guilhem Guirado would be in the team, not least by the player himself, but Brunel appeared to give his skipper the green light.

Asked if Guirado was one of the "individual cases" that he had mentioned, Brunel answered with a single word: "No".

The other three players who sat out training on Saturday, back rower Gregory Alldritt and props Jefferson Poirot and Demba Bamba will all train on Monday.

Brunel is set to name his team for the opener on Thursday.