Antoine Dupont rushed to hospital with suspected broken jaw in France win
The entire rugby population of France holds its' collective breath.
France scrumhalf and captain Antoine Dupont was rushed to hospital as the second half of his side's World Cup Pool A match against Namibia played on.
Dupont and France were cruising at 54-5 when the No.9 was crunched in a high tackle by Namibia's Johan Deysel. He was initially yellow-carded but, under the bunker review system, it was recommended that referee Matthew Carley upgrade it to red. Television Match Official for the match was Joy Neville, a former Ireland international.
UPDATE: The FFR has released a statement on Dupont and his status within the squad. He is expected to be out of action for at least three weeks but could yet feature in the quarter finals. The release reads:
'Following his injury sustained during the France-Namibia match, Antoine Dupont underwent surgery at Toulouse's Purpan University on Sept. 22 at around 11 p.m. In a few days' time, he will be able to return to the French team as part of a gradual sporting recovery under medical supervision.'
Antoine Dupont may now be a World Cup doubt
It has been reported, in France, by outlets France 2 and RMC Sport that Antoine Dupont could have suffered a fractured jaw, as well as a concussion. Broadcaster France 2 stated:
'Antoine Dupont was taken to hospital to undergo examinations. In addition to the suspected concussion, the scrum-half may have suffered a fracture. Examinations will now determine whether this is the case.'
The stand-down period for a heavy blow and confirmed concussion is 12 days, so Dupont has most likely played his last Pool A minutes. The toughest challenge left for France is their final outing, against Italy.
Should his jaw be fractured, depending on the severity, his World Cup as a whole may also be over. Brad Barritt once played with a plate installed in a fractured jaw after only a week out of action, so there are grounds for hope there. Maro Itoje had two plates installed in his jaw before and played 35 days [five weeks] later. The World Cup final is 37 days away.
Over on RTE, former Leinster and Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman said he believes Dupont could feature in a quarter final "if he gets signed off".
"That's a horrendous tackle, that's a red straight away... The bunker thing, sometimes you've just got to call it... Potentially the best player in the world's World Cup is in doubt now because of a reckless challenge."
Hannah Tyrrell said 'France may have to go on and do this without' Antoine Dupont.
'That's a horrendous tackle, that's a red straight away... And potentially the best player in the world's World Cup is in doubt now beacuse of a reckless challenge' @bernardjackman and @HannahTyrrell21 on the incident which forced Antoine Dupont off early#rterugby #rwc2023 pic.twitter.com/LWkm2FgqSG
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) September 21, 2023
As he starts his post-match press conference, Fabien Galthie checks his phone for messages from France medics who have accompanied Antoine Dupont to hospital for assessment on a potential "crack or fracture" of his jaw pic.twitter.com/HmKyzVni49
— Mark Palmer (@MarkPalmerST) September 21, 2023
Possible Antoine Dupont replacement
An FFR (French rugby union) statement on Antoine Duponr reads:
'Antoine Dupont has suffered a maxillo-zygomatic fracture. A specialist surgical opinion has been requested to determine the exact length of the player’s unavailability. Antoine Dupont remains with the France squad.'
France have already had outhalf Romain Ntamack [knee] ruled out of the tournament. Their current 9s, aside from Antoine Dupont, are Baptiste Couilloud and Maxime Lucu.
Should Dupont have to be ruled out by medics, it is likely that Toulon scrumhalf Baptiste Serin would take his place.
France went on to beat Namibia 96-0 but their concerns immediately switch to their injured captain.
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