Rugby Union: New faces in French line-up

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The Independent Online
JEAN-CLAUDE SKRELA and his fellow French selectors are not resting on the laurels of their 18-try Grand Slam canter through last season's Five Nations' Championship. Positively awash with back-line talent, the Tricolores feel able to go into the opening match of the forthcoming tournament in Dublin on 6 February without Jean-Luc Sadourny, Christophe Lamaison, Stephane Glas, Christophe Dominici and Xavier Garbajosa, all of whom were regularly finding their way on to the scoresheet this time last year.

Emile Ntamack, the Toulouse wing, and Richard Dourthe, the Stade Francais centre, win Five Nations recalls in a 22-man squad. Arthur Gomes is likely to be the new full-back, while two more Stade Francais regulars, Franck Comba and Thomas Lombard, are also in the frame. The pack, though, has a familiar look to it. Only Sylvain Marconnet, the brilliant Stade Francais prop, is threatening to distrupt the status quo.

n Bob Dwyer will shortly sign an extension to his contract with Bristol, the Allied Dunbar Premiership Two leaders, that will see him remain as Director of Rugby until the end of the 2001-02 season.

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