Fickou backs 'gifted' Ntamack at centre for Pumas Test

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Gael Fickou (C) in a training session with Romain Ntamack (R) on Wednesday (AFP/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT)

France centre Gael Fickou said on Wednesday regular fly-half Romain Ntamack is "gifted" enough to feature in midfield against Argentina this weekend.

Les Bleus begin their November Tests campaign against the Pumas on Saturday with Ntamack set to lineup inside Fickou with Matthieu Jalibert at outside-half.

"He's a very gifted player who can play at 10 and 12," Fickou told a press conference.

"There’s no problem, and if we play together this weekend it will go well," he added.

Fickou and Ntamack have played together at Test level since February 2019 but the 22-year-old has yet to start an international in the No. 12 shirt.

"Our combination in training is going well. We've played a lot together," 27-year-old Fickou said.

"He kicks very well, he has a go and is very strong defensively.

"He's a complete player which makes him a very good player who can play 10 or 12. He has all the quality needed," he added.

On Tuesday, former New Zealand prop Carl Hayman said he has joined a lawsuit against the sport's governing bodies.

The 41-year-old ex-Toulon front-rower is suffering from early-onset dementia and probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy -- a neurodegenerative disease.

"You can't deny there are problems in the past linked to concussion, it's a physical sport," Fickou said.

"There are a lot of rules put in place by the federation and World Rugby which are starting to pay off. We see it every weekend because players are being shown cards as they aren't lowering in the tackle.

"We're getting closer to the truth in the subject but I think we're on the right track."


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