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France await Italy arrival

Italy and France also clashed on the first weekend of last year's FIVB Volleyball World League
Lyon, France, May 25, 2011 - With the international retirement of Stephane Antiga, Oliver Kieffer and Hubert Henno, France has been extensively reworked for this year’s edition of the FIVB Volleyball World League as they get ready to host European rivals Italy on the first weekend of competition.

Coach Philippe Blain has called upon a number of promising young players such as Jenia Grebennikov, Julien Lyneel and Franck Lafitte and has also appointed a new captain in Guillaume Samica who will lead his team out in his first match as skipper against the homeland of his grandfather.

Despite having just one week to prepare for the six-week tournament, France has still played two friendly matches, firstly against Cameroon on Monday and then againts Slovenia on Tuesday. The world No.12 came out on top on both occasions, recording straight set wins and looking more promising than ever before.

“All players are ready to play and perform on this first weekend," Blain said on Wednesday and he added he hopes the side " win at least one game” this weekend.

Blain himself will be joined on the sidelines by new assistant coach and former youth men’s team coach Jocelyn Trillon.

 There have been 52 meetings between the two sides with Italy winning 31, the last coming during last year’s World League when they also opened their campaigns against each other.


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