France left red-faced after Smith call-up

Date published: February 22 2016

The FFR are set to name a replacement on Monday for David Smith after it was discovered that the Castres winger was ineligible after his call-up on Sunday.

Smith, 29, has played in France since 2011, first with Toulon before his move to Castres ahead of this season.

A try-scorer in the Top 14 this weekend, Smith was called up by Guy Novès as an injury replacement for Racing 92’s Teddy Thomas on Sunday.

However the Samoan-born wing has previously represented New Zealand in Sevens back in 2008.

Based on a document from August 2014 which showed that Smith “appeared eligible” for selection France opted to proceed by adding him to their squad, explained the FFR in a statement on Sunday, until Smith made them aware after linking up with the squad that he had previously played Sevens.

“On his arrival [into camp], David revealed to us he played in 2008 at Edinburgh in the international Sevens tournament for New Zealand,” the FFR said.

“Because of this fact, David Smith isn’t eligible for selection for the France XV according to international rules and will be released from the squad on Monday morning.”