Confession may be good for Richard Dourthe's soul but it has done nothing for the 21-year-old French centre's international career. Yesterday he owned up to stamping on Ben Clarke's head during last Saturday's France- England match and thereby condemned himself to a Test ban of probably two matches.
"I have no excuses," he said. "I was stupid, really stupid. The English were pressing really hard and I had a lot of adrenalin going. The ball wasn't released when he went to ground in a ruck and I just gave him a poke. I know I should not have done it and I am going to have to pay for it. I hope it teaches me to control myself."
The England No 8 was off the field for nine minutes while having stitches inserted after the incident, which may not have been picked up but for the vigilance of BBC's Rugby Special. Clarke himself was unaware of how his injury had occurred and the French federation is considering the matter only at the instigation of the Rugby Football Union.
Dourthe is now likely to miss France's matches in Scotland on Saturday week and against Ireland in Paris a fortnight later. "I condemn brutality and Dourthe will be sanctioned," Jean-Claude Skrela, the French coach, said yesterday.
n Brian Moore, the former England hooker, has retired from first-class rugby. Moore stepped down from internationals earlier this season but had been expected to carry on playing for his club, Harlequins. "I may play some junior rugby next season but at the moment I'm just enjoying my first real break from the game," he said.
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