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Antoine Dupont: France star in hospital - report

By Ian Cameron
France's scrum-half and captain Antoine Dupont (C) receives medical attention during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between France and Namibia at the Stade de Velodrome in Marseille, southern France on September 21, 2023. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

France will be left to sweat on the fitness of Antoine Dupont after he was removed from the game against Namibia in Marseille after suffering a head injury.

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Referee Matthew Carley showed Namibia centre Johan Deysel a yellow card for the head-on-head contact just minutes into the second half. Dupont immediately took a knee at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, before being tended to by medics.

Carley carded Deysel and signalled for the incident to be sent to the TMO bunker and it was ungraded to a red following a review.

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While Dupont didn’t appear to lose consciousness, the France captain was removed from the field and did not return. The 26-year-old appeared to holding his jaw as he left the pitch, albeit unaided.

France 2 and RMC Sport report that he was taken to hospital to be treated for a suspected concussion and a potential facial fracture. “According to France 2, Antoine Dupont was taken to hospital to undergo examinations. In addition to the suspected concussion, the scrum-half may have suffered a fracture. Examinations will now determine whether this is the case.”

Head coach Fabien Galthie confirmed after march in an interview with France 2 that his skipper was being examined for a potential broken jaw.

Galthie and indeed the entire French nation will now face an anxious wait on the fitness of the iconic halfback, who could potentially miss games if he enters and completes the return-to-play protocols. If he had suffered a facial fracture or broken jaw, the Toulousain could potentially face even longer on the sidelines.

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France have already suffered the loss of Dupont’s halfback partner, Romain Ntamack, who was ruled out on the eve of the flagship tournament. The Toulouse flyhalf appeared on the sidelines in Marseille on crutches, having recently undergone surgery on his knee.

Against that, there has been the return of both Cyril Baille and Jonathan Danty following injury. There was also good news this week on injured No.8 Gregory Alldritt, with general manager Raphael Ibanez saying: “We’ve no worries over Greg. Yesterday, towards the end of training, he got a knock to his knee. This morning, he joined the players who aren’t on the teamsheet for a very intense physical session. Now he’s recovering from that. Like his team-mates, he’s into the swing of things in terms of preparation. He’s in a good training situation.”

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