Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World



Billy Twelvetrees: 'Ed started pre-season with us and and nine months on he’s really struggling. Jesus Christ.'

The former England and Lions centre, leaves Kingsholm a legend after over a decade's service, and in that time he has matured into a man

RugbyPass+ Home

Heartbreak for Wesley Fofana as his World Cup is over before it got started

By Liam Heagney
Injury has forced Welsey Fofana out of the French squad in Japan

Wesley Fofana’s World Cup is over before it got started, France confirming that the 31-year-old midfielder will be replaced by 21-year-old rookie Pierre-Louis Barassi.


Fofana has travelled to the finals in Japan under a cloud having got injured in the August 30 warm-up win over Italy in Paris. 

It was thought he would recover to play an influential part in the pool campaign that started on Saturday against Argentina and features a blockbuster October meeting with Six Nations rivals England. 

However, Fofana missed the opening round win over Los Pumas with what Jacques Brunel described as a complication and it was announced in the aftermath of the hard-fought 23-21 victory that he will now travel home to Clermont and miss the remainder of the tournament.

Although capped on 48 occasions since making a Test debut in 2012, Fofana had been having a difficult 2019 with injuries. He had to give up at a late stage travelling to Italy for a Six Nations match last March while he was similarly a late absentee for an August warm-up in Scotland. 

(Continue reading below…)

Video Spacer

He eventually made it back on to the Test pitch to face the Italians, but a new thigh injury in training in Japan has scuppered his hopes of recovering from the knock suffered versus the Azzurri.  

Fofana’s exit will likely herald his retirement from Test rugby as he had said pre-tournament that these finals in Japan would be his last adventure with France. 

He is the fourth French player to drop out of the World Cup reckoning through injury and the second centre. Midfielder Geoffrey Doumayrou had to throw in the towel in mid-August after he suffered achilles tendon damage. 


Fofana will be replaced by Barassi, a 2018 junior world champion, He was awarded his first Test level call-up ahead of more experienced players such as Henry Chavancy, Jonathan Danty and Remi Lamerat.

WATCH: The new RugbyPass documentary, Tonga: Road To Japan

Video Spacer


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
RUGBYPASS+ 'Rugby World Cup lends credibility to a sport battling grave issues' 'Rugby World Cup lends credibility to a sport battling grave issues'