France’s Huget back for Pumas rugby Test
French winger Yoann Huget insists he will have nothing to prove when he returns to international duty for the first time since a doping storm which cost him a place at the Rugby World Cup.
The 24-year-old Bayonne star, who has played seven times for the national side, was banned for three months in 2011 by the French Rugby Federation for breaking dope testing rules.
He was also slapped with another month’s suspension by the French Anti-Doping Agency — the cost being cold-shouldered for the World Cup where France reached the final.
“I have nothing to take revenge for. I just need to be a little more responsible. But as far as the past is concerned, it’s forgotten,” he said ahead of France’s Test against Argentina in Cordoba on Saturday.
Saturday’s match will be followed by a second Test against the Pumas next weekend in Tucuman.
Fullback Brice Dulin and hooker Yvan Watremez are two new faces in the starting line-up and both expect a tough examination against an Argentine team which has bigger dates ahead this summer.
As part of the expanded Tri-Nations, rebranded as the Rugby Championship, the Pumas will face Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Argentine coach Santiago Phelan has made six changes to the starting XV which played in last week’s 37-22 win over Italy.
In the front-row, Eusebio Guinazu moves from hooker to loosehead prop where he replaces Rodrigo Roncero.
Guinazu’s place at hooker will be taken by Bruno Postiglioni while Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro moves in at tighthead. At lock, Esteban Lozada returns from injury along with flanker Tomas De la Vega.
Julio Farias Cabello and Tomas Leonardi, who played in the second row and at openside flanker against Italy, move to blindside flanker and No.8 respectively.
In the backs, left-winger Manuel Montero and fullback Roman Miralles have been called up with Joaquin Tuculet switching from fullback to centre to play alongside captain Felipe Contepomi.
Argentina’s first Rugby Championship clash will be against the Springboks on August 18.
© AFP 2013
Argentina (15-1): Roman Miralles, Belisario Agulla, Joaquin Tuculet, Felipe Contepomi (capt), Manuel Montero, Ignacio Mieres, Martin Landajo, Tomas Leonardi, Tomas De la Vega, Julio Farias Cabello, Esteban Lozada, Benjamin Macome, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Bruno Postiglioni, Eusebio Guinazu. Res: Andres Bordoy, Pablo Henn, Rodrigo Bruno, Rodrigo Baez, Tomas Cubelli, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Facundo Barrea.
France (15-1): Brice Dulin, Jean Marcellin Buttin, Wesley Fofana, Florian Fritz, Yoann Huget, Francois Trinh Duc, Morgan Parra, Louis Picamoles, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Wenceslas Lauret, Yoan Maestri, Pascal Pape (capt), David Attoub, Dimitri Szarzewski, Yvan Watremez. Res: Christopher Tolofua, Vincent Debaty, Romain Taofifenua, Alexandre Lapandry, Maxime Machenaud, Frederic Michalak, Maxime Mermoz.