Sebastien Chabal axed from France World Cup squad

Sebastien Chabal was left out of France's provisional World Cup squad for sporting rather than political reasons, according to national team boss Marc Lievremont.

The 33-year-old number eight has been omitted from the 32-man panel under consideration for the tournament in New Zealand in September, along with the Toulouse duo of Yannick Jauzion and Clement Poitrenaud.

Lievremont, who has drafted in uncapped Biarritz forward Raphael Lakafia and also Louis Picamoles of Toulouse in Chabal's position, insists the veteran's exclusion has nothing to do with his ongoing disciplinary case with the Ligue Nationale de Rugby.

Chabal could face sanctions from the LNR over comments made in an interview promoting his autobiography that referees in the French Top 14 were biased in favour of Castres and Biarritz, having already served a two-week suspension from his club Racing Metro for the remarks.

Lievremont said today: "I assured Sebastien that he had been judged in terms of sport and that the controversy had nothing to do with my choice.

"Last year I saw Raphael Lakafia progress and Louis Picamoles has great potential.

"The choice was not easy as Sebastien Chabal is important in the group. But I chose to focus on younger players to keep progressing."

Jauzion and Poitrenaud were also excluded from Lievremont's squad and all three must now be considering their international futures.

Chabal and Jauzion were two of the six players dropped by Lievremont following the shock defeat to Italy in the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year. The coach had strongly hinted then at his intention to overhaul the squad and accused his players of "cowardice" in the wake of the Rome upset.

Two more of the players dropped - Sylvain Marconnet and Aurelien Rougerie - have been included in the provisional World Cup squad, which must be trimmed to the final 30 by August 22.

Rougerie is one of three players selected despite carrying injuries that may yet rule them out of the global showpiece.

The Clermont Auvergne captain faces three to four months on the sidelines after suffering a serious ankle injury, while clubmate Thomas Domingo is another in doubt with a knee problem and Fabien Barcella (Achilles) is the other player on whom Lievremont is prepared to gamble.

Maxime Mermoz and Dimitri Szarzewski are also included as they continue to recover from long-standing shoulder and Achilles problems respectively.

France play Ireland home and away on successive weekends on August 13 and 20 to complete their World Cup preparations.

Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
peopleActress tells men: 'It's your issue too'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam