Clermont lose James for two momths in Top14

French Top 14 Rugby club Clermont have been thrown into a crisis at flyhalf
after veteran Australian fly-half Brock James was ruled out for at least two
months.

James has been ruled out with a heart complaint and is not expected to be able
to play for the runners up in last season’s Top 14 for two months.

The 33-year-old — a mainstay of the Clermont side for almost a decade — underwent
an operation for an irregular heartbeat in July but on returning to exercising
this week he felt that something wasn’t right.

“He felt tired for a couple of days on resuming training,” Clermont
coach Franck Azema told AFP.

The club, who lost to Stade Francais in last season’s French title final, released
a statement confirming James was not in a fit state to begin the season which
gets underway this weekend.

“The Clermont fly-half, who had undergone an operation a few weeks ago
to correct an irregular heartbeat should have resumed light training in the
coming days,” read the statement on their website.

“Unfortunately, the fly-half who had resumed physical exercise at the
beginning of the week felt an irritation which then increased.

“His programme has been interrupted with immediate effect so as to find
the reason and the best way to treat it.

“A new series of tests will be undertaken in the next few days.

“The length of his unavailability will be established after the results
of those tests.”

James’s absence will heap the pressure on France international fly-half Camille
Lopez while Clermont will be forced to field a rookie scrum-half as they are
already without their two first choice scrum-halves with Morgan Parra due to
be away on World Cup duty and Ludovic Radosavljevic out with a groin injury.

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