French skipper has his doubts
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: France captain Guilhem Guirado said he was unsure whether he would skipper the side in their crucial tournament opener against Argentina next week.
Guirado, 33, took over the armband from Thierry Dusautoir after he retired four years ago.
Asked whether he would retain the captaincy in Japan, he said: “You have to ask the coach. In any case, I’m preparing like I will be the captain and the hooker who will be starting.”
Les Bleus will most likely have to beat either the Pumas or England during their group matches if they are to hold any hope of being one of two sides to make it through to the quarter-finals from Pool C.
The Montpellier front-rower, who is set to feature at his third World Cup, captained his country in only one of their three warm-up Tests, with prop Jefferson Poirot taking over the reins against Scotland in Nice and Italy in Paris.
Guirado said he had no fixed plans to retire from international rugby following the tournament despite telling his team-mates the victory over the Azzurri in late-August was his final match at the Stade de France.
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“I didn’t really say I was going to retire, I’m not looking ahead further than the World Cup,” he said.
Stand-in captain Poirot, as well as centre Wesley Fofana, missed a training match on Friday against Japanese club side Yamaha Jubilo through back and thigh injuries respectively.
However, Bernard Le Roux, Demba Bamba and Maxime Machenaud who all sat out the three pre-World Cup Tests featured.
“It’s a relief to be back playing. I played 30 minutes. Now I can say that we have started preparing for Argentina,” scrumhalf Machenaud, who was suffering from a thigh problem, said.