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France suffer a massive Jonathan Danty Six Nations injury blow

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Jonathan Danty will miss the entire 2023 Guinness Six Nations with defending champions France following a knee injury sustained in last Saturday’s tempestuous Top 14 win for La Rochelle at Perpignan. Reports in the French media suggest that the 30-year-old, who has become a Test team regular in the past two years under Fabien Galthie, will be sidelined for up to three months.

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Rugbyrama.fr reported: “Jonathan Danty was injured on Saturday after being hit in the knee in a collision with Georges Tilsley, forcing him to leave the Aime-Giral pitch. According to our information, the centre has suffered a rupture of the posterior cruciate ligament. He will be absent for three months and will therefore miss the 2023 Six Nations tournament.”

France begin their title defence with a February 5 match against Italy and their tournament will end with a March 18 clash with Wales, but they will have to get through the five-match campaign minus Danty, the 2016 Test debutant who has been a regular Galthie pick since getting back into the set-up during the 2020 Autumn Nations Series.

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The serious injury capped a very difficult day for Danty at Perpignan as the 2021 La Rochelle signing was on the receiving end of a red-carded headbutt while lying vulnerable on the ground during the first half of a feisty Top 14 encounter. Perpignan skipper Mathieu Acebes was sent off for his actions and his subsequent social media apology wasn’t accepted by Danty.

“I play with passion. Unfortunately this weekend I lost control of my emotions,” wrote Acebes. “Jonathan Danty is a player I respect a lot and I strongly regret my move and I apologised immediately after the game. I will face the consequences of this unfortunate move. Judging me on my values and integrity in this single gesture is regrettable. I don’t want to give that bad image.”

In a since-deleted reply, Danty responded: “You do not regret your gesture and I do not excuse it. It was premeditated. Two minutes before you had warned me that you would take care of me, before headbutting me when I was talking on the ground with one of your teammates. Your apologies are intended for the disciplinary committee. You do not regret your gesture and I do not excuse it.”

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