Castaignede sidelined

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The Saracens full-back Thomas Castaignède will be out of the game for up to six months after undergoing a second operation on his Achilles tendon on Wednesday.

"The operation went fine, but I know that I won't make it back on the pitch today and that I won't play again for five or six months," Castaignède told the sports daily l'Equipe. The versatile French international, who was injured before a Test against New Zealand in November, added he had no illusions about his chances of playing in the Six Nations Championship.

John Eales, the retiring Wallaby captain, yesterday rejected claims from former Test player David Campese that there were too many Bledisloe Cup matches between the trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand.

"It is a lot different these days to what it was in Campo's day," Eales said. "I don't think there are too many. Two Tests a season against New Zealand is great and it builds up a hell of a lot of interest over here and in Australia."