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Jelonch's father goes after France for mismanaging his son against Scotland

By Kim Ekin
Gregory Alldritt, Anthony Jelonch and Romain Ntamack in action for France during a Guinness Six Nations match between France and Scotland at the Stade de France, on February 26, 2023, in Paris, France. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Flanker Anthony Jelonch suffered a serious knee injury against Scotland in France’s 32-21 victory in the last round of the Six Nations but according to his dad, it could have been prevented.


Jelonch had been taken off for a head injury assessment following Grant Gilchrist’s red card which included a double shot. But he was sent back into the game a short while later with France up 19-0.

Forced to scramble in cover defence in the 24th minute, France’s No 6 put a big tackle on Scotland’s Duhan van der Merwe as he tried to squeeze the ball down in the corner.

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The heavy shot saved a certain try but Jelonch came away struggling to get up and required medical attention which later was confirmed as a ruptured cruciate ligament in the left knee.

The Toulouse forward now faces the prospect of missing the home World Cup in seven months time with the recovery ahead.

Jelonch’s father Jérôme penned a scathing response to the management of his son by the French team in publication Le Parisien putting blame for the injury squarely on them.

“What did the staff of the XV of France do?” he wrote.


“Why did you revive Anthony, who came out for a concussion protocol, when we had two substitutes with François Cros and Sekou Macalou?

“I was in the stands and I was crazy. Let him rest, we could have avoided what happened next.”

“Everyone says that the World Cup is already over for him. We’ll see. Anthony has a mind and he’s surrounded by his family.

“He is the son of a farmer, he has experienced hard times, like those hailstorms that destroy a good harvest in a few minutes. We have always picked ourselves up. He will come back.”


Jelonch senior was also unhappy with the original tackle on his son, a crunching double effort by Scotland pair Gilchrist and Fagerson from a kick-off.

He wrote that the referees failed to pick up the high shot without the efforts of the French team doctor.

“I do not understand, without the intervention of the doctor of the France team, the referee would not have whistled the fault or interrupted the match,” he wrote.

“Fargerson deserved a yellow too. What do the referees do?”

Jérôme was so furious at management he refused the support of the French staff who he held responsible.

“Raphael Ibanez (the manager of the XV of France) called me to tell me that they would not let go of him, but Anthony does not need the staff of the XV of France today.

“He needs a good surgeon and his family.”

Jelonch’s injury is the latest for injury-stricken France whose list of players sitting on the sidelines continues to grow.

Jonathan Danty, Cameron Woki and Gabin Villiere are all long-term absentees, while regulars Peato Mauvaka, Jean-Baptiste Gros and Maxime Lucu are also missing.


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