France fear their captain and scrumhalf talisman, Antoine Dupont, will miss the rest of this World Cup at home as he is expected to be out of action for six weeks.
The 26-year-old was helped off the pitch in the second half of his team’s 96-0 win over Namibia at St Etienne on Thursday evening after a collision with Johan Deysel which led to the visiting center being sent off for a dangerous high tackle. .
Deysel may have ended Dupont’s tournament. Mail Sport understands he has broken his upper jaw bone and the initial forecast is that his likely recovery time will be between four and six weeks.
All France and rugby fans around the world will be desperately hoping the Toulouse superstar can defy this grim medical assessment.
The best-case scenario at this stage seems to be that Dupont can get through a hectic rehabilitation just in time to be available for a semi-final in Paris on October 21 – provided France have managed to beat South Africa or Ireland, without him. in the last eight.
Antoine Dupont (right) is expected to be unavailable for selection for four to six weeks due to a fractured cheekbone
Dupont (right) sustained the injury on Thursday during a tackle by Johan Deysel (left) from Namibia
The worst-case scenario is that Dupont will no longer play a role in the entire event, as it is six weeks after the incident on November 2 – five days after the World Cup final in the French capital.
Dupont’s suspected fractured cheekbone and suspected concussion are gone Fabien Galthiehis teammates and the whole of France are concerned about the severity of his injury.
On Friday morning, French television was dominated by news of the injury of their country’s captain and scrum-half.
Broadcasters even brought up images of a human skull, pinpointing the exact area of the cheekbone they believe France’s iconic figure Dupont broke. It’s that serious.
“There is a suspicion of a tear or fracture of the maxilla,” French head coach Galthie said of Dupont’s injury, an injury that completely overshadowed his team’s victory in Namibia in 13 attempts. ‘He is currently in hospital and being tested. I can’t tell you more.
“I’ll stay connected and will tell you more when I hear (from him). I’m writing to him now. We are never happy when a player gets injured. We are very concerned.’
Dupont was in tears when he left the field for evaluation of a head injury and did not return. The scrum-half is undoubtedly the best player in the world at the moment and seemed to know he had a serious problem.
France has already suffered injuries at this World Cup. The hosts lost playmaker Romain Ntamack and key lock Paul Willemse for the tournament. But seeing Dupont get injured is the worst-case scenario for Galthie’s men, given his status as captain and his immense ability.
France head coach Fabien Galthie revealed his star scrum-half is undergoing hospital tests
Dupont (centre) is France’s best player and the poster child for the ongoing Rugby World Cup
“Antoine took a big hit on his face and we will do some exams to make sure there is nothing wrong with him, but he is a strong man and we can rely on his strength,” said team manager Raphael Ibanez of France.
‘We feel sorry for Antoine. It just reminds us how dangerous direct contact can be.” France fielded a full-strength team against Namibia in a completely one-sided match.
Dupont (right) left the field in tears on Thursday evening
Galthie hit back at suggestions he should have taken Dupont off at half-time. If Dupont is confirmed to have suffered a broken cheekbone, he will likely be sidelined for at least three weeks.
‘What do you want me to say? You can’t take out 14 players at halftime,” Galthie said. ‘Our plan was to drop one, three and five players at half-time, and the rest in the 55th minute.
‘The aim was to give everyone some playing time and not sit back for a month. The players wanted and had to play.’ Maxime Lucu and Baptiste Couilloud are the other French scrum halves in Galthie’s World Cup squad. France now face an anxious wait to see how bad Dupont’s injury is.
The fear is that this could end his tournament. Such a situation would be a catastrophic blow not only to the best player in the world and France, but also to this tournament as a whole.
Dupont is the pin-up boy for this French World Cup. His teammates were understandably concerned about their captain after the match.
There are now serious fears that Dupont (centre) could miss the rest of the competition
François Cros said: ‘I hope it’s not serious. If so, it would obviously have an impact on him and on us. We still have a number of experienced nines who can take over.
‘When we watched the replay, we knew what decision the referee would make. But we had no idea about Toto’s (Dupont) condition.
‘We didn’t know until the end of the match whether he left as a precaution or whether he was really injured.’ Center Gael Fickou said: “At the moment we don’t know what is going on.
“Obviously we’re waiting and waiting. We are frustrated for him. ‘I hope he can play and it’s nothing serious. We are all waiting impatiently for the results. “When he left, we suspected it was a bit serious.”