Dupont underwent surgery on facial injury

AFP / Christophe Simon

France captain Antoine Dupont underwent surgery on a facial injury and will return to the Rugby World Cup squad to recover, the French Federation (FFR) said on Saturday, though it gave no timeline for when the scrumhalf might return to the field.

The 26-year-old sustained the injury in Thursday's 96-0 record win against Namibia in a head-to-head clash with opposing captain Johan Deysel, whose initial yellow card was upgraded to a red.

"Following his injury sustained during the France-Namibia match, Antoine Dupont underwent surgery at Toulouse's CHU Purpan on September 22 at around 11 p.m.," the federation said in a statement.

"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."

The FFR did not say when Dupont would be able to play again.

France, who are already without flyhalf Romain Ntamack at the World Cup due to injury, next face Italy on October 6. It will likely be a must-win game for Les Bleus unless the Italians can beat New Zealand on September 29.

France could face top-ranked Ireland or defending champions South Africa in the quarter-finals on the weekend of October 14 to 15.

Dupont is expected to miss at least the Italy game, which leaves coach Fabien Galthie to choose between Baptiste Couilloud and Maxime Lucu to replace the 2021 World Player of the Year.

France have won 27 of 31 tests with Dupont in their ranks and lost four of 11 in his absence.

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