Picamoles struggling to be fit for France

France and Toulouse No8 Louis Picamoles has been ruled out of a French training camp due to heavy bruising – but is relieved not to have suffered a recurrence of a hip injury

The 27-year-old — capped 38 times — had to go off in the ninth minute of Saturday’s Top 14 clash with European champions Toulon, raising fears he had suffered the same injury he did on the tour of New Zealand in June.

However, Picamoles, who has been replaced for this week’s training camp by Castres’ Antonie Claassen, said scans had revealed nothing more serious than bruising.

“I am not fit enough to go to the training session because it is too painful to train,” said Picamoles.

“However, there was nothing in the scans, just bruising.

“I am going to above all try to get fit for the Top 14 match with Brive (November 2) and then hopefully for the Tests.”

The French squad are undergoing a two-day session with coach Philippe Saint-Andre before returning to their clubs.

France have three Tests lined-up in November.

They play world champions the All Blacks, who beat them 3-0 in the June series, on November 9 followed a week later by a match against Tonga, who beat them in a stunning upset in their pool game at the 2011 World Cup, and round it off with a clash with South Africa on November 23.

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