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Ferris in line for Six Nations reunion with 'gouger' Attoub

STEPHEN FERRIS is in line for a tempestuous reunion with eye-gouger David Attoub when Ireland play France in the Six Nations in Paris on February 11, writes DAVID KELLY.

Stade Francais prop Attoub was initially banned for 70 weeks for eye-gouging Ferris during a Heineken Cup game in Ravenhill in December 2009. He lost an appeal, but his ban was later cut to 52 weeks by the French National Olympic Committee.

Attoub, whose only Test appearance came six years ago against Romania, was not in France's provisional 30-man Six Nations squad, but new coach Philippe Saint-Andre has recalled him to a reduced 23-man party.

"I was furious," said Ferris at the time as he showed red gashes around his eyes at the post-match press conference.

"When I was on the ground I felt numerous fingers in my eye. There was argy-bargy throughout the game, and I don't mind that, rugby is a physical game.

"I would hate to get anyone cited and if someone hit me a dig in the jaw I would take it and get on with the game, but not when someone goes for your eyes."

Saint-Andre, though, said that the slate was clean.

"I phoned him after training and he was so shocked he almost crashed his car," he said. "He's one the best tighthead props around. The squad is open for everyone."

Scrum-half Julien Dupuy, also found guilty of eye-gouging in the same match, has not been included.

Irish Independent