Powerhouse France midfielder Virimi Vakatawa has become an injury doubt for his country’s Guinness Six Nations campaign which opens with a February 6 match away to Italy in Rome.

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The 28-year-old’s try-scoring effort against Ireland last October was central to securing France the win that earned them second place in the delayed finish to the 2020 championship, their highest placing since finishing second in 2011.

Vakatawa, who has 27 caps and was a Nations Cup try-scorer against Scotland in his last Test outing, was included in Fabien Galthie’s 37-strong squad announced for the 2021 Six Nations on January 11.

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However, his availability to a squad that is set to assemble in Nice for training ahead of their opening round Italian job is now in jeopardy as the centre played just twelve minutes of Racing’s Top 14 match on Saturday versus Bordeaux.

It has been reported that Vakatawa, who was replaced by RugbyPass Offload co-host Simon Zebo, injured his left knee during a tackle and a prognosis on the extent of the problem is now awaited.

Vakatawa had initially carved his reputation with France as a winger but he has frequently been used in the midfield since an eve-of-World Cup move into the middle prior to the 2019 finals in Japan. He has gone on to score four tries from his nine starts at centre.

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The possible loss of Vakatawa would be the second major blow for Galthie this week as he has already had to replace Gregory Alldritt with Cameron Woki. Alldritt told French media that he needs to undergo an examination on an injured knee so he can be 100 per cent for the national team.

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