Wednesday Feb 21, 2018

Dropped Teddy Thomas shows dazzling feet in Racing 92 win over La Rochelle

Dropped Teddy Thomas shows dazzling feet in Racing 92 win over La Rochelle
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A week after being dropped from Jacques Brunel’s French side for this Friday’s 6 Nations with Italy in Marseille, Teddy Thomas was in illustrious form in Racing 92’s Top 14 win over La Rochelle.

Thomas was among the seven players cut from the extended squad after their late-night escapades in Edinburgh following the side’s 32-26 defeat to Scotland.

The winger was suspended for one match but was not given the same punishment from his club, meaning he was able to turn out in the Ciel et Blanc against last season’s finalists La Rochelle.

He didn’t score – he got close but put a foot in touch – but his performance throughout the game, regularly beating a number of tacklers, caused the Rochelais all manner of problems in defence as the Parisian side claimed a narrow 19-12 victory.

The result moved Racing above La Rochelle into second place in the standings, just two behind leaders Montpellier.

Thomas is the top try-scorer in the 6 Nations, touching down against Ireland in the opening round and grabbing a spectacular brace against Scotland in round two.

Brunel’s men are coming under increasing pressure from the home media and cannot afford to slip to a third straight defeat in the south of France. It remains to be seen what impact (if any) Thomas’ absence will have on the team’s performance this week.

CALL-UPS FICKOU AND COUILLOUD CONFIRM SELECTION

The beneficiaries of France’s suspensions and worryingly long injury list are Toulouse’s Gaël Fickou and Lyon scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud.

Among an array of excellent tries over the course of the weekend, both Fickou and Couilloud were on fine form for their respective clubs, with Fickou bagging a hat-trick in his side’s emphatic 52-25 victory away to Agen.

Couilloud, who has been named on the bench for Friday’s game, scored a superb try under the posts as Lyon swatted aside struggling Clermont Auvergne 32-10 at home.

There’s no doubt France possess an abundance of talented individuals, but whether these introductions to the squad will be able to gel in enough time to get the national side back on track remains one of the many unanswered questions with Brunel’s outfit.

FRENCH SQUAD TO FACE ITALY

Backs: Hugo Bonneval, Bejamin Fall, Matthieu Bastareaud, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Remy Grosso, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Machenaud.

Forwards: Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado, Rabah Slimani, Paul Gabrillagues, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Marco Tauleigne.

Subs: Anthony Pelissié, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Romain Taofifenua, Kélian Galletier, Baptiste Couilloud, François Trinh-Duc, Gaël Fickou.

France take on Italy this Friday (23rd Feb) at the Satde Vélodrome in Marseille – kick-off 21:00 local

TOP TRIES FROM THE TOP 14

credit: top14official/yoe91

5 Comments

  •  colombes
    colombes

    This would be the best XV of the moment: Rattez Thomas-Penaud-Fofana-Lacroix Lopez-Parra Picamoles-Gourdon-Macalou Iturria-Jedrasiak Priso-Guirado-Ben Arous But regarding this late scot night, injuries and moustache coachs, we can continue to dream about it

    Reply
  •  oliver
    oliver

    I cant imagine Thomas being left out for any longer than one game...If you take him out of the equation, France would have been beaten easily by Ireland and Scotland, he scored all 3 tries, and all from difficult positions. By the way, has that happened before?? I can't recall a player scoring 3 totally individual tries like that in 2 consecutive games? Anyways the frustrating thing is that this has happened before...When Thomas got his first caps, he came out very strong, scoring 3 tries in his first game and then scoring a brilliant individual try vs Australia. And then he got dropped from the team for being late to training!!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I don't think TD "never really cut it at international level", I think he never got the opportunities that would be offered to someone if his talent... I also disagree that they shouldn't be bringing back the old heads, I think it's precisely what they should be doing so that somebody somewhere in the team knows what winning feels like...if they can get a couple wins under their belts it might count as a reset for them... France issues (amongst many) seem to be something like picking a conservative strategy, then picking flair players... Or picking conservative players then giving them a flair strategy...someone needs to do something right for once and if that means using the OAP's to get the ball rolling then I say why not?

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    I feel like the last thing they need is to recall a fly-half who has already peaked and has never really cut it at international level. I guess that applies to either of their 10s though.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    With France struggling at the moment, this match against Italy could be just what they need. They've brought in some older heads with T-D, to sort of mop up should anything go awry... But then it is France...so they could win easy by 50 points...or lose just as easily...

    Reply

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Dropped Teddy Thomas shows dazzling feet in Racing 92 win over La Rochelle | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos