France’s most recent match left fans with a bitter-sweet taste in their mouth. With the full-strength French side having taken a 96-0 victory over Namibia there was plenty to celebrate as the host nation proved beyond doubt that they were the real deal.
There was huge disappointment for many in the French camp, however, after talismanic captain Antoine DuPont exited the field with a fractured jaw, putting his own World Cup aspirations in doubt.
This news shocked many around the world, as the 26-year-old has been touted by many to be the main man to lead his side to World Cup glory for the first time in his nation’s history.
There is now a glimmer of hope on the horizon, however, as it has been reported that DuPont could well be available for the quarter-final following his operation last Friday.
According to French publication Midi Olympique, Antoine Dupont has an appointment with a specialist this weekend regarding making a mask that will mould to his face. The idea would be that the scrum half could play the remainder of the tournament with the mask protecting his jaw.
Laurent Labit, France’s attack coach, recently explained that whilst DuPont’s recovery in time for the knock out stages is important, his health is the vital issue.
“Yes, it’s a very important competition, almost the sporting event of a lifetime for some, it’s a World Cup on home soil with a team that can claim overall victory.
“This is obviously a factor that should weigh heavily when the decision is made. But the final choice will depend on the surgeon and Antoine. The specialist knows who Antoine Dupont is and he’s aware of what he’s playing in.”