Two weeks from the start of the 2017 Six Nations Championship and France are deep the midst of an injury crisis.
in a strange case of bad luck/good luck, it seems the latest injury to befall Les Bleus will result in one of Europe’s scariest ball carriers returning from international exile.
The loss of Wesley Fofana to a ruptured achilles saw Henry Chavancy drafted in for the explosive centre, a replacement regarded as an ample alternative to the the first choice centre.
Now, however, it has been reported by numerous media outlets that Chavancy has joined Fofana on the injury list. While this in itself is a blow for France head coach Guy Noves’ preparations, his ‘third choice’ replacement isn’t exactly a bad one.
According to the French Rugby Federation, Chavancy has been replaced by none other than the human wrecking ball that is Mathieu Bastareaud.
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) January 23, 2017
Bastareaud has been an international exile ever since France’s 62-13 defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals.
Under Noves, the big Toulon centre was cast aside but now, in a case of ‘one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity’, the 28-year-old is set to blast his way back into the fold.
Though perhaps a centre more suited to the slower game of years past, he is still capable of immense displays of destruction.
Such a presence on the field will certainly have England sitting up and taking notice ahead of their clash on February 4.
If ever an injury crisis had a silver lining, this is most definitely it.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
In this week’s edition of The Oval Office Podcast, we speak to the Pro12 Communications Director Adam Redmond, who outlines how the league will evolve in the coming seasons.