News in Brief
Bastareaud assaulted after French defeat
June 22, 2009
France's Mathieu Bastareaud looks on during a France training session, Dillworth College, Auckland, New Zealand, June 5, 2009
France's Mathieu Bastareaud was assaulted following his side's loss to New Zealand in Wellington © Getty Images

  • France centre Mathieu Bastareaud was assaulted on Sunday morning by around five people following France's 14-10 second Test defeat by New Zealand.

    The New Zealand Rugby Union said it was disappointed by the attack, which struck at its reputation as host of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The 20-year-old was attacked as he got out of a taxi at the team's hotel and appeared on Sunday with a bruised and swollen face.

    "They (the attackers) abused him verbally and he responded to that," said France team manager Jo Maso. "They then piled into him. There were four or five of them."

    Bastareaud was to undergo a scan on his injuries in Australia - where they play the Wallabies next Saturday - on Monday morning.

    "Bastareaud is suffering from significant facial bruising," said the team doctor Jean-Philippe Hager. "He will undergo another scan on Monday in order to check that he is not suffering from a more significant injury."

    Nevertheless, the Stade Francais star is out of the test match with Australia and will return to France after the scan.

    "We asked him whether he wanted to make a formal complaint but he didn't want to," said Maso. "We respect his decision. We sent a letter to the New Zealand federation to alert them as to what happened."

  • New Zealand's victorious Junior World Championship campaign ended on a tragic note with winger Zac Guildford's father Robert dying in Tokyo.

    It is understood that Robert Guildford suffered a heart attack in the stands as his son's team beat England 44-28 in the final of the Under-20 competition on Sunday. Despite attempts to resuscitate him at the ground and at a Tokyo hospital, he died.

    Robert Guildford was a former Wairarapa Bush player who played six games for the province between 1992 and 1996.

    New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew expressed his condolences to Zac Guildford and his family. "Our thoughts are with Zac, his mother Debbie and Zac's brother who have had to deal with this tragedy at what should have been the best of times, enjoying their son's achievements with a team that has excelled on the world stage," he said.

  • France assistant coach Emile Ntamack rates the current Wallabies as better than the All Blacks and thinks they will provide the toughest challenge of their current tour on Saturday.

    The French arrived in Sydney last night with the Dave Gallaher Trophy from their series victory, on points differential, over the All Blacks who won the second test 14-10 in Wellington last Saturday.

    Quizzed on the merits of the trans-Tasman rivals, Ntamack gave the edge to Robbie Deans' Australian side after watching their 2-0 series win over Six Nations tailenders Italy.

    Ntamack said Saturday's Test at ANZ Stadium would be a big ask, so soon after back-to-back Tests against the All Blacks. "We know the next game will be the hardest game of the tour. We know the Australian team very well and we know they have some very good experienced players. It's been a long season for the French players, I know they are very tired. This week we need some recovery because it was a very physical match. We have to be better than last Saturday with our strategy, the ruck, the lineout, the scrums, a lot of things."

  • Bath have completed the signing of highly-rated Australian flanker Julian Salvi on a one year deal.

    The 23-year-old , who joins from the ACT Brumbies, said "I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my rugby career," admitted Salvi. "And, where better than in England and with Bath Rugby. It is a strong club, with a proud history doing exciting things and I really want to become a part of that."


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