Tag Archives: michalak

Jonny Wilkinson signs one-year contract extension to prolong career at Toulon

Wilkinson signs one-year contract extension to prolong career at Toulon

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

11:20 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:20 GMT, 30 March 2013

Jonny Wilkinson has revealed he canvassed the opinions of fellow fly-half stars Matt Giteau and Frederic Michalak before electing to extend his career for a further year.

The 33-year-old England World Cup winner spent the winter debating whether to continue his successful stint at wealthy French club Toulon or retire.

The pain of a long-standing groin problem was tipping the balance towards retirement, but following the success of a recent operation, he says another season is now in his sights.

On the up: Jonny Wilkinson has led Toulon into the Heineken Cup quarter finals this season

On the up: Jonny Wilkinson has led Toulon into the Heineken Cup quarter finals this season

St George: Wilkinson plays alongside Englishmen Andrew Sheridan, Simon Shaw and the Armitage brothers

St George: Wilkinson plays alongside Englishmen Andrew Sheridan, Simon Shaw and the Armitage brothers

Discussing his recent operation in The Times, Wilkinson said: 'I didn't know if it was going to work, but it has given me the ability to go out and work hard, to recover and go again.

'From November through to January, I was thinking: end of career.'

Wilkinson said the views of Toulon team-mates Giteau and Michalak were taken into account before he decided to play on.

'These are guys who play inside and outside me and both play in my position too, so there is no better position to have to see if they think I am doing a good job,' he said.

Crunch match: Toulon face an tough quarter final in the south of France when they host Leicester

Crunch match: Toulon face an tough quarter final in the south of France when they host Leicester

'I also wanted to know where they see their futures. Am I in the way of their future Am I helping their future Do they feel comfortable playing alongside me I was more than willing to hear.

'These are guys for whom I have such great respect, guys from whom you want to hear the negative stuff.

'But they were really honest and I got the impression that they wanted me there.'

Champagne moment: Wilkinson will always be remembered for his drop-goal to win the 2003 World Cup

Champagne moment: Wilkinson will always be remembered for his drop-goal to win the 2003 World Cup

Wilkinson stepped down from the international game just over a year ago following a stellar Test career, but his name continues to be linked with the British and Irish Lions squad to tour Australia.

While refusing to rule himself out of contention, he admits he has had no contact with head coach Warren Gatland and considers himself a left-field selection.

'The Lions is so exciting,' he said. 'I would certainly welcome the opportunity, though I'm not sure why my name would be mentioned.

'I'm not thinking, ''I'm in with a shout''.

'The young guys in international rugby are the ones taking the sport forward.'

Honoured: Wilkinson won an MBE for his exploits at the World Cup

Honoured: Wilkinson won an MBE for his exploits at the World Cup

France 39 Argentina 22: Frederic Michalak pulls the strings as Les Bleus tame Pumas

France 39 Argentina 22: Michalak pulls the strings as Les Bleus tame Pumas

PUBLISHED:

23:21 GMT, 17 November 2012

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UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 17 November 2012

Vincent Clerc scored two tries and
Frederic Michalak booted 24 points as France followed up their rout of
Australia with a home victory over Argentina in Lille.

Argentina had started well and led
13-3 after 17 minutes, but Clerc's first try sparked a run of 21
unanswered points for France that saw the home side establish a 24-13
half-time advantage.

The Pumas continued to battle hard
in the second half and reduced the gap between the two sides to eight
points on a couple of occasions, but they could not get any closer and
Michalak's kicking ensured France would come out on top.

Star man: France's Vincent Clerc scored two tries

Star man: France's Vincent Clerc scored two tries

Les Bleus stunned the Wallabies 33-6 in Paris last weekend but they have found Argentina a tough nut to crack and have only have triumphed in four of the 11 meetings between the two nations.

And another night of disappointment looked to be on the cards for the French at Stade Lille Metropole when, after Michalak had put them ahead with a penalty, Argentina promptly replied with a flurry of points.

A break from Gonzalo Tiesi helped centre Marcelo Bosch, who plays his club rugby in France for Biarritz, go over for the game's opening try in the fourth minute, and then Nicolas Sanchez added eight more points from a conversion and two penalties.

Argentina soon found themselves on the back foot though and a 17-minute 21-point scoring blitz from the French all but ended the South American nation's hopes of following up their win over Wales with another triumph.

Bish bash Bosch: Argentina's Marcelo Bosch scores a try

Bish bash Bosch: Argentina's Marcelo Bosch scores a try

Experienced winger Clerc collected two tries – taking his tally for his country to 34 – and flanker Yannick Nyanga crossed for another in quick succession as, with Michalak adding the extra points for each, the hosts powered into an 11-point lead at the interval.

There were no more tries in the second half, which turned into a shoot-out between Michalak and Sanchez.

Sanchez brought Argentina back within touching distance with two penalties and a drop goal, taking his personal tally for the evening to 17, but Michalak slammed the door shut with three more penalties in the final 12 minutes to seal France's triumph.

France squad for autumn internationals

Teenager Fickou given chance to shine for France in autumn internationals

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UPDATED:

11:55 GMT, 16 October 2012

Highly-rated centre Gael Fickou is one of several new faces included in France's 33-man squad for their autumn internationals.

The 18-year-old has been compared with former England three-quarter Jeremy Guscott after excelling with Toulouse, and has now been given the chance to impress national head coach Philippe Saint-Andre.

Pierrick Gunther, Vincent Martin, Jocelino Suta (all Toulon), Jules Plisson (Stade Francais), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing Metro) and Sebastien Vahaamahina (Perpignan) have also been called up to the international fold for the first time ahead of France's fixtures against Australia, Argentina and Samoa in November.

One to watch: Gael Fickou (right) has been called up by France

One to watch: Gael Fickou (right) has been called up by France

FRANCE SQUAD

Forwards: E Ben Arous, T Domingo, Y Forestier, B Kayser, C Tolofua, D
Szarzewski, D Attoub, V Debaty, N Mas, Y Maestri, P Pape (vice-captain),
J Suta, S Vahaamahina, D Chouly, T Dusautoir (captain), P Gunther, W
Lauret, F Ouedraogo, L Picamoles

Backs: M Machenaud, M Parra, F Michalak, J Plisson, F Trinh-Duc, V
Clerc, B Dulin, B Fall, G Fickou, W Fofana, F Fritz, Y Huget, V Martin, M
Mermoz.

Saint-Andre chose to rest several notable names during France's two-Test series in Argentina, which they drew 1-1.

Among those absent was captain Thierry Dusautoir, who returns to the side although 71-cap veteran Aurelien Rougerie has been omitted.

“We were very happy with the three centres taken in Argentina this summer,” Saint-Andre said in L'Equipe. 'Aurelien just returned and has not played a lot of matches with Clermont.