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France winger Penaud pulls out of Argentina test

France winger Penaud pulls out of Argentina test
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - France Training - National Rugby Center, Marcoussis, France - November 6, 2018 France's Damian Penaud during training REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes   -   Copyright  GONZALO FUENTES(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – Winger Damian Penaud has pulled out of France’s squad for Saturday’s test against Argentina in Lille due to injury, the French Rugby Federation said on Monday.

Penaud, who was picked in the starting line-up ahead of Gael Fickou to face South Africa in Paris on Saturday, hurt his ankle in the first half of the 29-26 defeat by the Springboks but completed the match.

No replacement will be called up and Penaud might be available when France face Fiji in Paris on Nov. 24 in the last of their three November internationals.

Fickou, surprisingly left out after good early season form, said he had hoped to play against South Africa last Saturday but respected the choice of the coach.

“I did not go and ask for an explanation and they did not give me any. It’s up to me to prove even more that I want to play,” he told a news conference on Monday.

“I hope to start the next game. My job is as a centre but if I’m asked to play out on the wing, I will go out to the wing. I’m waiting patiently for my turn which I’m sure will come.”

Fickou came on in the first half against the Boks as a temporary replacement for centre Geoffrey Doumayrou and took his place for much of the second half, at centre alongside Mathieu Bastareaud.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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