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Ngapeth to return for France against Japan

Earvin Ngapeth was the man with the highest efficiency rate of all receivers in last year's World League tournament

Paris, France, June 18, 2014 – France’s Earvin Ngapeth will be among the 12 players selected by coach Laurent Tillie, when ‘the Blues’ take on Japan this weekend in Kyoto in week five of the World League Intercontinental Round.

Ngapeth is scheduled to play two matches this week after missing the beginning of the tournament due to a right shoulder injury which occurred late in the season playing with Italian club Modena.

"Earvin is happy to be with us, to be reinstated to the group,” said Tillie. “He was frustrated. When one player is injured, there is a lot of frustration. His shoulder is progressing well but it is not 100% yet." 

France and Japan have met twice in the second week of the 2014 World League with France winning both matches 3-0. Japan and France have played 18 World League matches against each other with France winning 15 times. Japan's last win (3-1) against France came in the 2007 World League. Of 18 matches against France, Japan have lost eight in straight sets.

But even with this track record, Laurent Tillie prefers to remain cautious. "I have great respect for our opponents, I believe that every game is difficult. We approach all the same way."

France, who are currently the leaders in Group D with 20 points – three points ahead of Argentina –had to concede their first loss of the 2014 competition against Germany last Friday (3-1) in Rouen. They managed to turn the tables around in Toulouse two days later defeating Germany in straight sets.

The winner of Group D will qualify for the Final Four in Sydney (July 11-13), with the winner of the Final Four tournament advancing to the Final Six in Florence (July 16-20).


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