Maestri in doubt for Wallabies Test

France lock Yoann Maestri remains a doubt for Saturday’s rugby Test against Australia due to an abdominal problem.


Maestri was named in the starting line-up Thursday before later hurting himself during training.

Assistant coach Yannick Bru said on Friday Maestri would be given every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the clash at the Stade de France in Paris.

“He has abdominal pain which is worrying us,” said Bru.

“We’ve been treating it but we won’t be able to know until he’s really tested it by running full pelt, which he will do tonight (Friday) during the captain’s run.”

As well as the 26-year-old Maestri, France also have questions over replacement lock Charles Ollivon, who made his debut from the bench against Fiji last weekend in Marseille, but is suffering from a thigh problem.

“Yesterday we had good news from the physios and he’s on track. He’ll be tested tonight to see if he’s 100 per cent,” he said.

France lost all three Tests in Australia in June, including slumping to a 50-23 defeat in a seven-try romp in Brisbane.

Captain Thierry Dusautoir admitted his side want to aevenge that defeat and indeed their poor June showing.

“It will be part of it but it won’t be our sole motivation,” said the Toulouse flanker.

“We need to remain lucid on many levels to beat Australia.

“It’s not necessarily through aggressiveness and a desire for revenge that things will work.

“There are pitfalls we mustn’t stumble into. They’re a team that will put a lot of tempo into the whole match.”

France blooded seven debutants in last week’s 40-15 victory over Fiji in Marseille and indeed many of the starting line-up on Saturday — unchanged from that against the Pacific Islanders — did not suffer the Australian humiliation.

“Australia are not Fiji in terms of intensity or quality of player. We’ll have to explain to them (the new players) that we’re stepping up a category,” Dusautoir said.