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France blow as Dusautoir to miss six nations

Published 20/01/2014 | 02:30

France captain Thierry Dusautoir (pictured) looks set to miss the entire Six Nations because of injury.

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Toulouse coach Guy Noves revealed that flanker Dusautoir had suffered ruptured biceps during their 16-6 Heineken Cup victory over Italian side Zebre on Saturday.

France's 2011 World Cup skipper will undergo surgery later this week and is expected to be sidelined until May, which means he would also miss the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Munster. "It is a rupture of a tendon of the right biceps. He will be out for four months," Noves said.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre will be left reeling by the news, which comes just a fortnight before Les Bleus open their Six Nations campaign against England in Paris.

Saint-Andre is set to announce a replacement for Dusautoir in his 30-man Six Nations squad on Sunday. He confirmed that Stade Francais forward Pascal Pape will captain France in Dusautoir's absence.

Pape has skippered his country on eight occasions, and is set to win his 50th cap when he lines up against England.

"Thierry was back to his best and had an important leadership role in this group," Saint-Andre said. "Pascal will lead his troops in the right direction early in the tournament."

Irish Independent

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