France backs Rougerie and Clerc fit for World Cup

Experienced France backs Aurelien Rougerie and Vincent Clerc will be fit for the World Cup starting next...

The official IRB ball for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Picture: AFP

Experienced France backs Aurelien Rougerie and Vincent Clerc will be fit for the World Cup starting next month after making good progress from injury.

Centre Rougerie has begun training after recovering from an operation on a broken ankle in May.

"He is like a kid on the field," coach Marc Lievremont told reporters on Tuesday.

"He can do everything apart from contact sessions. He is very close to returning. There is no worry. He could play one of the matches against Ireland as part of his progress."

France face Ireland in Bordeaux on August 13 and in Dublin on August 20 as they prepare for the World Cup in New Zealand starting on September 9.

Clerc had a small operation to clean out his knee last week but is doing well and can resume training on Thursday.

"It is nothing serious," he said.

Hooker William Servat and prop Thomas Domingo have minor knee problems and are not training with the group but they are not in doubt for the World Cup.