Sat, Jun 16, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Huget says he has nothing to prove after doping storm

AFP, BUENOS AIRES

French winger Yoann Huget insists he will have nothing to prove when he returns to international duty for the first time since being caught in a doping storm which cost him a place at the Rugby World Cup last year.

The 24-year-old Bayonne star, who has played seven times for the national side, was banned for three months last year by the French Rugby Federation for breaking dope-testing whereabout rules.

He was also slapped with another month’s suspension by the French Anti-Doping Agency — the cost being cold-shouldered for the World Cup, where France reached the final.

“I have nothing to take revenge for. I just need to be a little more responsible. But as far as the past is concerned, it’s forgotten,” he said ahead of France’s Test against Argentina in Cordoba today.

motivation

“It’s a source of motivation,” he added.

Today’s match will be followed by a second Test against the Pumas next weekend in Tucuman.

“This a young squad. We have said that if the adventure goes well, it’ll perhaps be a squad that can go a long way,” Huget said.

Fullback Brice Dulin and hooker Yvan Watremez are two new faces in the starting line-up in Cordoba and both expect a tough examination against an Argentina team that has bigger dates ahead this summer.

As part of the expanded Tri-Nations, now rebranded as the Rugby Championship, the Pumas are scheduled to face New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

“To play for France is a childhood dream,” Watremez said. “A lot of people would like to be in this situation.”

“But we know it’ll be a tough match. The Pumas are huge up front and give nothing away,” he added.

Puma changes

Argentina coach Santiago Phelan has made six changes to the starting 15 which played in last week’s 37-22 win over Italy.

In the front row, Eusebio Guinazu moves from hooker to loosehead prop, where he replaces Rodrigo Roncero.

Guinazu’s place at hooker will be taken by Bruno Postiglioni, while Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro moves in at tighthead. At lock Esteban Lozada returns from injury, along with flanker Tomas De la Vega.

Julio Farias Cabello and Tomas Leonardi, who played in the second row and at openside flanker against Italy, move to blindside flanker and No. 8 respectively.

In the backs, left-winger Manuel Montero and fullback Roman Miralles have been called up with Joaquin Tuculet, switching from fullback to center to play alongside captain Felipe Contepomi.

Argentina’s first Rugby Championship clash against the Springboks is set for Aug. 18.

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