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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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