News in Brief
Elsom set to miss Italy encounter
Elsom could miss the Italy test in Canberra
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- Australian Rocky Elsom is set to miss his country's first Test match of the season this Saturday against Italy in Canberra due to a knee injury.
Elsom was selected to play for the Barbarians against the Wallabies last Saturday but was replaced at short notice by David Lyons, and was expected to be fast-tracked into the side after a successful season with Leinster.
The flanker missed training on Monday and will undergo further assessment on the knee, which is tender and bruised around the bone.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who names his team tomorrow, faces a difficult selection at blindside with Matt Hodgson out for three weeks.
- France have called-up Julien Arias and Julien Puricelli into their squad for the tour of Australia and New Zealand following injuries to Aurelien Rougerie and Julien Bonnaire.
The Clermont pair picked-up knocks in their defeat in the Top 14 final to Perpignan but despite the withdrawals Montpellier loose forward Fulgence Ouedraogo believes the French will prove sterner opposition when they last toured two years ago.
The All Blacks thrashed the French 61-10 in Wellington in 2007 but Ouedraogo is more confident about this tour. The 22-year-old said: "I feel that this time round that we'll be better able to take on and rival the All Blacks. Compared with two years ago, this time we're coming with our best side. We're coming to New Zealand to grow as a team and to mark our territory.
"(In 2007) we came without any of the players who were playing in the semi-finals of the French championships and we ended up having some pretty inexperienced players with us on that tour. The match remains a great memory for the simple fact that it was my first wearing the blue jersey.
"Physically, the All Blacks were on a different level. Quite simply, they moved forward in every impact, whether it was defensive or offensive. I remember that four tacklers weren't sufficient to stop Jerry Collins from scoring at the end of the match. They were just too quick for us. The rhythm dictated by the All Blacks was just amazing."
- This year's World Cup Sevens has been declared a clean tournament, the IRB has confirmed.
IRB anti-doping manager, Tim Ricketts, said: "The unprecedented tournament testing programme was the most comprehensive ever run for a Sevens tournament and one of the biggest ever undertaken by the IRB."