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FFR statement: Antoine Dupont

By PA
Antoine Dupont of France during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between France and Namibia at Stade Velodrome on September 21, 2023 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

France captain Antoine Dupont’s Rugby World Cup campaign is in doubt after he sustained a facial fracture.

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Dupont, 26, suffered the injury in France’s record 96-0 win against Namibia on Thursday following a clash of heads with with Johan Deysel.

The Namibia centre’s yellow card for the collision in the 45th minute, with France leading 54-0, was upgraded to red following a review by the television match official.

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The Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) confirmed the extent of Dupont’s injury on Friday, but said it was uncertain how long its star scrum-half will be unavailable for.

A statement from the FFR, quoted by Sky Sports News, read: “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.”

France, who have beaten New Zealand, Uruguay and Namibia so far, play Italy in their final pool match on October 6.

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Les Bleus are set to face world number one side Ireland, Scotland or defending champions South Africa in the quarter-finals on October 14/15.

“We’re like everyone else,” said assistant coach Laurent Labit. “We’re worried, we were happy with the match but it was a difficult evening for us. We’re not making any plans too soon. A surgeon will tell us more about Antoine’s availability. We’ll wait another 48 or 72 hours and then we’ll know more.”

One report (below) has given an alarming prognosis on a potential return date for the star.

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