France have been dealt a major blow ahead of their opening Guinness Six Nations clash against England with the news that hooker Camille Chat will miss the game through injury.

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France are currently holding a training camp in Nice as they fine-tune their preparations for Sunday’s game at the Stade de France.

However, head coach Fabien Galthié will now have to plan without Chat, 24, after the Racing hooker sustained a calf injury.

Chat will be replaced by Racing teammate Teddy Baubigny in the squad, with Toulouse’s Julien Marchand now expected to start against the beaten World Cup finalists.

France are currently in a period of transition following the departure of head coach Jacques Brunel after the World Cup, with his successor, Galthié, putting an emphasis on youth in his Six Nations squad.

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This Six Nations could see potential debuts could be beckoning for Montpellier’s Mohamed Haouas, Racing 92’s Boris Palu, Lyon’s Dylan Cretin and Clermont’s Alexandre Fischer in the pack, while only Bernard Le Roux and Jefferson Poirot boast over 30 international caps for Les Bleus.

Charles Ollivon has taken on the captaincy following the retirement of Guilhem Guirado.

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