Antoine Dupont has suffered a fractured cheekbone but the France captain has not yet been ruled out of the rest of the Rugby World Cup.
The 26-year-old has been left with the painful injury after he was forced out of France’s 96-0 win over Namibia due to a head-on-head tackle from Johan Deysel.
The French camp were hoping it was not too serious, but have now confirmed: ‘Antoine Dupont has suffered a maxillo-zygomatic fracture. A specialist surgical opinion has been requested to determine the exact length of the player’s unavailability. Antoine Dupont remains with the France squad.’
While clearly a serious injury, estimates suggest that it only keeps a player out for four-six weeks, which means hope is still alive that he could appear again in this World Cup.
With the semi-finals on the weekend of 21-22 October and the final on 28 October, a swift recovery could see the former World Player of the Year appear again.
A specialist will analyse Dupoint as closely as possible over the coming days and weeks and will determine when he can return.
France attack coach Laurent Labit said that no decision will be made lightly.
‘Antoine stays with us, everyone will be together,’ said Labit. ‘We will do as we have always done with short-term injuries in hoping that the opinion of the surgeon is positive for Antoine and us.
‘The specialist will give the verdict and Antoine will make the decision. We will respect that. We can’t think too far ahead.
‘The specialist knows who Antoine Dupont is, what competition he is currently playing. It is not an average subject.’
Having already beaten New Zealand and Uruguay, France will be even more frustrated that they have lost their captain in a game he didn’t need to be playing in as they romped past Namibia.
The host nation are back in action on 6 October against Italy in Lyon.
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