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Toulon's Villiere ruled out of France's July internationals

By Josh Raisey
France are playing with a joie de vivre that is intoxicating to the neutral (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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France winger Gabin Villiere has been ruled out of France’s two-Test series against Japan in July with an ankle injury sustained the the Challenge Cup final against Lyon on Friday.

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The 26-year-old picked up an injury to his left ankle in his side’s 30-12 loss in Marseille, leaving the field after only half an hour played. RMC Sport have since confirmed that the winger will not only miss the conclusion of Toulon’s season, but will also miss the Guinness Six Nations winners’ matches against Japan in Tokyo on July 2 and 9.

With one round remaining in the Top 14, Villiere will miss his side’s crunch visit to Paris this Sunday, where his seventh place Toulon will be hoping to break into the top six against fifth place Racing 92, who are only two points ahead of them in the league table.

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Toulon were boosted by the return of Cheslin Kolbe on the other flank on Friday night, but Villiere will be a significant absence for the three time European champions. Likewise, France will miss him on the wing in July after he finished the Six Nations as the competition’s top try scorer alongside teammate Damian Penaud. Les Bleus had to make do without him for one game during their Grand Slam charge as he missed the Test against Scotland at Murrayfield, where France came out 36-17 winners.

The 12-cap international was on crutches as he joined his disconsolate teammates on the Stade Velodrome turf on the Stade Velodrome pitch on Friday night.

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