RWC 2015: France squad kept up all night by loud wedding party at their Croydon hotel as preparations for Italy opener disrupted

French squad have already been disrupted ahead of Saturday's opening match in Pool D

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The Independent Online

France have already seen their Rugby World Cup preparations hit before they've even announced their team for their first pool game after a loud wedding party disrupted their night's sleep at the Croydon hotel where they are based.

The French media have already been less than impressed by the South London town, and prop Uini Atonio has added to the unhappiness surrounding Les Blues by revealing a couples’ late night celebrations kept the squad members up in to the early hours.

"I did not really sleep well," said Atonio after being kept wide awake on Saturday night.

"There was a wedding in the reception area just under my room, and they were quite noisy.

"At around two in the morning, when I still could not sleep, I had to put my headphones on.

"We might have to change hotel!"

Uini-Atonio.jpg
France prop Uini Atonio in training

While previous World Cups have been laced with accusations of sabotage and deliberate attempts to disrupt other teams’ preparations, the French front-row appeared to take it in good humour despite the lack of sleep.

France begin their campaign against Six Nations rivals Italy at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday and have allayed fears over the fitness of captain Thierry Dusautoir. The flanker played all 80 minutes of the victory over Scotland in their final World Cup warm-up match, but he has appeared with bandaging around his left hand.

However, the 33-year-old Toulouse back row revealed it was nothing to worry about and that he had not suffered a break that would have severely disrupted French preparations for the tournament.

"It's only a bump, no broken bones," said Dusautoir, with France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre adding in jest: "He only broke a nail!"

 

But for Pool D rivals Italy, it is not such good news as they will definitely be without influential captain Sergio Parisse for their opening fixture. The No 8 has not recovered from having a haematoma drained in his left calf. Head coach Jacques Brunel will hope to have the Stade Francais skipper back for their second match against Canada, while Romania and group favourites Ireland make up the rest of Pool D.

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