Calf injury culls Castaignede

A premature return to the Premiership has exacerbated Thomas Castaignede’s injury, creating doubts of his involvement with France against the All Blacks this November.

Castaignede has already missed the pre-season training sessions with the national team due to the calf ailment, and although he may be fit for the Test on 11 November, he will be unable to train with the team before that date.

Capped 52 times for his country, the versatile Frenchman’s last Test was the victory over South Africa at Newlands. He returned to action for his club Saracens over the weekend, a comeback that he admits was “a little too quick”.

France have already lost first-choice flyhalf Frederick Michalak due to a knee injury incurred in September, and he is yet to resume training with his club side Toulouse.

Castaignede’s injury adds to French coach Bernard Laporte problems, and he will now have to select one of Julien Laharrague, Nicolas Brusque, Pepito Elhorga or Clement Poitrenaud at No 15 when France play the All Blacks in Lyon.