Antoine Dupont has surgery as France captain’s World Cup remains in the balance

Antoine Dupont has surgery as France captain’s World Cup remains in the balance
Antoine Dupont has undergone surgery after being hurt in World Cup action, © Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

France captain Antoine Dupont has undergone surgery after suffering a facial fracture during Les Bleus’ Rugby World Cup victory over Namibia.

Namibia captain Johan Deysel apologised to Dupont following a head-on-head collision that has left the France star’s tournament in doubt.

Deysel’s yellow card for the collision, with France leading 54-0, was upgraded to red following a review by the television match official and he now faces a disciplinary hearing.



In a message posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Dupont said: “Show must go on. Looking forward to seeing the group again. Thank you for your messages.”

The French Rugby Federation said: “Following his injury contracted during the France-Namibia match, Antoine Dupont underwent surgery on September 22 around 11pm at the Purpan University Hospital in Toulouse.

“In a few days, he will be able to return to the French team in a process of gradual return to sport under medical supervision.”

Dupont’s fitness setback is headline news in France, and there is a real possibility of Les Bleus losing their star player for the rest of the tournament.


France’s final pool game is against Italy in Lyon on October 6, before a quarter-final – probably against Ireland or South Africa – the following weekend.

If Les Bleus reach the semi-finals, they take place in Paris on October 20 and 21.

Dupont has been inundated with messages from well-wishers as the former world player of the year battles to keep alive hopes of playing again in France’s home World Cup.

Kevin Sinfield
England defence coach Kevin Sinfield has been among the well-wishers to Antoine Dupont (David Davies/PA)

England defence coach Kevin Sinfield said: “I am disappointed for the competition, but we have no doubt he will be back.

“World-class players like that get themselves right very, very quickly, and I am sure he is doing everything he can.

“It will be a period of time, but you’ve seen players before play with facial fractures. So I suspect he will be back on his feet and back available very, very soon. We wish him all the best.”

By Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent, Lyon

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