2011 September 2
Sebastien Chabal accepts World Cup fateSebastien Chabal accepts World Cup fate
Iconic French rugby union player Sebastien Chabal has accepted his national team manager's decision not to take him to next month's World Cup.
The Racing Metro star cuts an intimidating figure on the field with his muscular build, ponytail and thick beard, helping to make him very popular among fans cheering from the stands in their replica shirts and rugby jackets.
Coach Marc Lievremont has chosen to take Biarritz's Raphael Lakafia to New Zealand and Chabal, also known as the 'caveman' told AFP that he is now putting all his energy into achieving success at club level.
He said: "In any case I knew my international career wasn't going to last forever. I was counting on it lasting until the World Cup. Unfortunately it's not up to me to decide and it ended beforehand." The 33-year-old has been capped 62 times for France and has used his popularity to score a number of lucrative sponsorship deals in recent years.
Another player to miss out on the French World Cup squad is Sylvain Marconnet, who responded to the news by saying he will retire at the end of the Top 14 season, according to Planet Rugby.
The 35-year-old is the country's most capped prop and he described how playing for the side has brought him "great joy".