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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 06:22 GMT 07:22 UK
French star backs Caucau ban
Frederic Michalak receives treatment after the tackle which sparked the brawl
Michalak played down the impact of the challenge
France have backed World Cup organisers' decision to ban Fijian wing Rupeni Caucaunibuca.

Caucau, as he is known, was sent off in the 61-18 mauling by France following his part in a brawl. He later received a two-match suspension.

And France fly-half Frederic Michalak said: "It happens that players just go off, but he (Caucau) was also very aggressive in a match that I saw him play against Argentina."

"I think he likes that."

The 23-year-old Caucau, who had earlier scored a spectacular try, was sent to the sin bin during the game following an altercation with French flanker Olivier Magne in the second half.

Tempers flared after a rough challenge on Michalak and replays clearly showed Caucau punching Magne.

And Michalak added: "He was punished for what he did. It's unfortunate for the public that there were a few scuffles, but I think it's just as well that he was sanctioned."

But the French number 10 played down the effects of the tackle which sparked the brawl.

He said: It looked impressive, but that's all - I wasn't hurt or anything. I took some pretty good hits in other parts of the match."

Caucau will now miss the games against the USA and Japan before returning for the final pool match against Scotland.

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