Rising star Teddy Thomas has been dropped for Saturday’s Test against Argentina by France manager Philippe Saint-Andre for missing a training session by arriving two hours late.
Thomas made a stunning debut against Fiji, becoming only the second Frenchman to score a hat-trick of tries on his first appearance for Les Bleus.
The 21-year-old earned a third straight call-up on Wednesday for the Test against the Pumas in Stade de France after also scoring a try against Australia.
But the young Racing-Metro player failed to attend training on Wednesday evening along with the squad at the French national training centre at Marcoussis, outside Paris.
And Saint-Andre and his deputies Yannick Bru and Patrice Lagisquet decided to drop Thomas and called up Maxime Medard, 28, in his place.
“In the France group there are rules that everyone should respect,” explained Saint-Andre.
“Teddy, who we love a lot, has forgotten these. When you play in the France team you have to be beyond reproach and respectful on and off the field.
“I had a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) with Teddy and he understands. I’m sure it will make him grow up.”
Thomas later took to his Facebook page to apologise.
“The rules of the France group shouldn’t be broken and I want to offer my sincerest apologies to the staff and the France team, to my team-mates, to all the Bleus fans and our sport,” Thomas said.
“I also want to clarify, not by way of justification, that it was my fault and although it should be punished, it was in no way a question of insolent or arrogant behaviour.”
Toulouse winger Medard, who has 40 caps for France, takes his place.
“No-one has died, but it’s about respect that we should have in a group,” said Serge Blanco the vice-president of the French rugby federation.
“When you are given a precise time to turn up, you have to remember it.”
He added: “It shows that in the France group nobody is indispensible. He will serve as an example for everyone.”
France beat Fiji 40-15 and Australia 29-26.
Scott Spedding; Yoann Huget, Maxime Mermoz, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Medard; Camille Lopez, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Damien Chouly, Bernard Le Roux Thierry Dusautoir (capt); Sebastien Vahaamahina, Pascal Pape; Nicolas Mas, Benjamin Kayser, Xavier Chiocci
Guilhem Guirado, Alexandre Menini, Uini Atonio, Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri, Yannick Nyanga, Charles Ollivon, Rory Kockott, Remi Tales, Mathieu Bastareaud, Benjamin Fall