Pelous close to full fitness

France captain Fabien Pelous is aiming to be fully fit for next month's Test matches against Australia, Canada, Tonga and South Africa. [more]

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France captain Fabien Pelous is aiming to be fully fit for next month’s Test matches against Australia, Canada, Tonga and South Africa.

Pelous picked up an injury to his right knee on May 22 playing for Toulouse in their European Cup victory over Stade Francais and was forced to undergo an operation.

But he returned to competition at the end of September against Perpignan, and now he is hoping to be back to his best by the time France take on Australia on November 5.

"I am getting better and better," he said in L’Equipe.

"At the start I lacked pace but this is not the case anymore.

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"I am not in my best shape yet but it should not be too long until I reach it."

Last week coach Bernard Laporte declared Pelous would definitely remain the French team’s captain, even if his lack of preparations may prevent him from playing one or two of the Tests.

"He was thinking about the Test matches but also the 2007 World Cup," added Pelous.

"I am not yet at the level required for international matches but I am close to it.

"Anyway when Laporte said that about me he also insisted that I would have no special treatment.

"I will have to win my place in the team and I will be the first one affected if it does not happen.

"I know that if I am not the best in my position, I will not play, but if I am the best I will play.

"The French team belongs to no-one. It does not belong to me even if I have been there for 10 years and it does not belong to Millo-Chluski either even if he is young, full of talent and ambitious.

"It belongs to the guy who is in top form at the right time. That decision is not ours, it’s the coach’s.

"Of course I’d rather be called up than not," he added.

Laporte will announce his squad on Tuesday in Marcoussis but he is facing a plethora of injury concerns.

Hooker William Servat (neck) and flanker Serge Betsen (left cheekbone) are definitely out.

Lock Pascal Pape (back) and centre Damien Traille (broken arm) have added their names to the list, while winger Christophe Dominici (right knee) and flanker Thierry Dussautoir (ankle) – who was expected to make his international debut in November – are both big doubts.

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