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France lose Paul Willemse on eve of Rugby World Cup

By Ian Cameron
Paul Willemse #5 of France looks on before the 2023 Summer International match between France and Australia at Stade de France on August 27, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

France have suffered yet another major blow with the union confirming that they have replaced outstanding second row Paul Willemse on the eve of the Rugby World Cup.


It’s a bitter blow for head coach Fabien Galthie, who has already lost flyhalf Romain Ntamack, prop Cyril Baille and centre Jonathan Danty.

Galthie has called up Bastien Chalureau to replace Willemse, who could still take part in the tournament as a replacement should he recover from his injury whilst injury befalls one of his teammates. The 6’7, 135kg forward has suffered a tear to the quadriceps of the right thigh.

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He has been added to the official reserves list for the tournament.

France kick off proceedings next Friday with a crunch game against the All Blacks at the Stade de France in Paris.






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Ace 282 days ago

I see that the snowflakes are calling for the cancellation of Chalureau. How dare he be accused of racism and still play rugby?

What a huge, big, massive, totally unexpected surprise.

Scott 284 days ago

I would think France would be very pleased to play Ireland at home in the QF where they always beat them. Far more so than a QF versus the Springboks who will be the one side bigger and more physical than France.

To avoid the Springbok in QF, France must beat the All Blacks and win their pool.

I think the All Blacks definitely want to play Ireland in QF because they will be highly motivated to avenge the loss in the home series.

To play Ireland in QF, the All Blacks need to beat France and win their pool.

So I believe the winner of Pool A and winner of Pool B will win their QF and meet in the finals

Another 284 days ago

France do have depth in their squad but this run of injuries is starting to add up. It may be the case that they are compromised in their opening match - although the All Blacks will still be in no position to be complacent - and they will get stronger as the tournament progresses.

Tiwana 285 days ago

Frogs insuring they have a easy quater final run in to the Final, come 2nd in their pool, play a weaken team against the Blacks, all these “injured” players will be available when the crunch part of the tournament comes around.

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