Rugby Union: French stick up for Sella

Click to follow
(First Edition)

PHILIPPE SELLA did not deserve to be sent off in last Saturday's Test defeat at the hands of Canada, Pierre Berbizier, the French coach, said in Auckland yesterday when his team arrived for their tour of New Zealand.

Sella, the most capped player in rugby, misses the opening game of the tour against Northland on Thursday after being suspended for one match. He was ordered off for punching during France's 18-16 reversal in Nepean, Ontario.

Berbizier said Sella was only pushing away a Canadian player. 'We used a video to try and see exactly what happened,' Berbizier said. 'The video only shows Sella trying to push away an opponent who was trying to put his fingers in his eye.'

The French tour includes two Tests, in Christchurch on 26 June and Auckland on 3 July.