Claassen selection not loved by all

Antonie Claassen’s surprise call-up to the French squad has not pleased everyone, but the SA born flanker still loves France more than he does South Africa.

The wife of French 8th man, Imanol Harinordoquy, clearly took umbrage at the selection of Wynand Claassen’s son, sprouting on her Twitter feed: “I don’t know Claassen but it seems to me that we have what we need in terms of French loose forwards!”

“Of course my case is unusual and I appreciate that some may not be happy,” Claassen, 28, told Reuters in an interview.

“I know that I will have more pressure than the others and that I will be observed more closely.”

Claassen joined Brive from the Blue Bulls and spent five years in Correze before moving to Castres this season.

“I have been in France for five years and I feel better here than in South Africa. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s a matter of sensations. I like living here and I’d like to live here all my life,” the Durban-born Claassen said.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) states that to be eligible for a national side a player must be born in the country, have a parent or grandparent born in the country, or have spent three consecutive years of residence immediately preceding the time of playing.