Injuries delay team selections

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The Independent Online
Olivier Brouzet, the French lock forward, will miss their opening World Cup match against Tonga in Pretoria on Friday after injuring his ankle during training yesterday. A spokesman for the French team said: "He has a pulled muscle in the right ankle. He won't be able to train again for 48 hours."

Hospital X-rays revealed no fracture but Brouzet is also doubtful for France's second Pool D match against the Ivory Coast in Rustenburg a week today.

Brouzet's withdrawal should allow the former France captain, Olivier Roumat, to step in. The line-up to face Tonga will be announced today.

Christian Stewart, the Canadian centre, tried out his injured foot with a light run yesterday, but will still have to wait as to whether he will be fit to play in the Pool A match against Romania on Friday.

Stewart gashed his right foot on a loose tile at the team's hotel swimming pool. The injury required four stitches.

After the run with his team-mates Stewart said he would participate fully in training today, after which a final decision as to whether he will play will be made. "I got a real fright when I cut the foot," said Stewart. "But I think I will be all right come Friday."

Romania have delayed the announcement of their team to give three injured players more time to recover. Both the prop Vasile Lucaci and the second-row Ovidiu Siusariuc are doubtful after suffering ankle injuries in training last Thursday.

Their flanker Alexandru Gealapu damaged recent dental work in a training match against a local police side on Sunday and might also miss the game.