France have been forced to pull former Blues and Hurricanes winger David Smith out of their squad for Friday's Six Nations clash with Wales after discovering he did not qualify to play for Les Bleus.
The embarrassment for the French Rugby Federation emerged just hours after Samoa-born Smith, who played Super Rugby for the Blues, Hurricanes and Western Force, was brought in to the squad as injury cover.
After Marvin O'Connor and Teddy Thomas were ruled out of France's plans by problems sustained on club duty over the weekend, coach Guy Noves summoned winger Djibril Camara and France-based Smith.
But the 29-year-old Castres flyer Smith told French officials he had previously played for New Zealand at the 2008 Edinburgh Sevens, scuppering the prospect of a debut in Cardiff.
In a statement on their website, the FFR said it had a document dating from August 2014, which indicated that Smith "appeared eligible" for France, and he was duly called to the training camp at Marcoussis.
"On his arrival, David revealed to us he played in 2008 at Edinburgh in the international Sevens tournament for New Zealand," the FFR said. "Because of this fact, David Smith isn't eligible for selection for the France XV according to international rules and will be released from the squad on Monday morning."
Smith played with the Force in 2011 before leaving Western Australia the same year to join French powerhouse Toulon where he stayed until being transferred to Castres at the start of the current Top 14 season.