France captain Antoine Dupont WILL start their Rugby World Cup quarter-final tie against South Africa on Sunday after surgery on his fractured cheekbone despite fears he could miss the rest of the tournament
- Antoine Dupont is set to start France’s World Cup clash against South Africa
- The scrum half fractured his cheekbone against Namibia last month
- Dupont now has the greenlight to complete his remarkable recovery on Sunday
- Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results
France captain Antoine Dupont is set to start at scrum half in his side’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against South Africa on Sunday after having surgery on a fractured cheekbone.
There were fears Dupont could miss the remainder of the home tournament after being caught by a high tackle from Johan Deysel in France’s 96-0 thashing of Namibia last month, with his country sweating over his fitness as he had surgery the following day.
But three weeks later Dupont – regarded as the best No 1 on the planet – has recovered and is now in line to start the crucial game for Fabien Galthie’s side as they look to win the tournament on home soil.
French rugby had confirmed his remarkable recovery after he returned to training last month, though he was not risked for their 60-7 win over Italy.
Dupont is likely to wear a protective mask against South Africa when the two sides meet in a mouthwatering quarter-final clash in Paris.
France captain Antoine Dupont is set to start his side’s Rugby World Cup clash against South Africa after recovering from a fractured cheekbone
There were fears that Dupont’s home tournament could be over after picking up the injury in France’s 96-0 win over Namibia
France medical director Bruno Boussagol said: ‘Antoine had a visit with the surgeon this morning. He got the green light. He’s going to be back to rugby training this afternoon.
‘We will keep working with him to make sure he’s in the best position before the head coach makes his decision (on selection). He had some contact with tackle pads with the fitness staff.
‘Now he’s going to be back to normal training. We need to remain close to Antoine and help him across the board for him to be in the best position to apply for selection.
‘The option of wearing a helmet was indeed discussed. We’re working on it. He has received and has tested this kind of protection equipment.
Dupont has now received the green light to play on Sunday after working with France’s medics
Maxime Lucu has deputised for Dupont at scrum-half while he has been on the sidelines.
But Les Bleus head coach Fabien Galthie will now recall his main man for the meeting with the Springboks who are the defending champions after their win in 2019.
Dupont’s likely scrum-half head-to-head with South Africa’s Faf de Klerk will be one of a number of titanic individuals to take place in Paris on Saturday night.
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