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Wednesday, October 27, 1999 Published at 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK

Marconnet joins French squad

Sylvain Marconnet (centre): "It is an immense pleasure"

France have called up prop Sylvain Marconnet into their World Cup squad, following the failure of Christian Califano's appeal against a seven-week suspension.

The Stade Francais front row joined the squad in preparation for Sunday's second semi-final against tournament favourites New Zealand at Twickenham.

[ image: Christian Califano has failed in his appeal]
Christian Califano has failed in his appeal
Marconnet has officially been named as a replacement for injured back-rower Thomas Lievremont. The French have plenty of cover in the back row but need another prop in their squad in Califano's absence.

Marconnet has played eight Tests since making his debut last year.

"When I missed out on selection for the World Cup squad I cried," Marconnet said.

"It was the biggest disappointment of my sporting career. To link up with the squad now will be an immense pleasure."

Califano failed in his appeal against his suspension for head-butting on Wednesday.

Califano was handed the longest ban at the World Cup after head-butting Fijian prop Jolei Veitayaki in France's 28-19 first-round victory over the Pacific islanders 11 days ago.

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