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French plans in disarray as Saint-Andre loses Fofana and Nyanga

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Yannick Nyanga of France charges on during the first test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France

Yannick Nyanga of France charges on during the first test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France

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Yannick Nyanga of France charges on during the first test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France

French plans for the last two weeks of the Six Nations campaign appear to be in disarray after coach Philippe Saint-Andre lost star centre Wesley Fofana and flanker Yannick Nyanga to injury, dropped Louis Picamoles for next week's meeting with Scotland and is also facing an anxious wait on Morgan Parra's availability after his red card last weekend.

Ahead of the meetings with Scotland and a potential championship decider with Ireland, Saint-Andre has axed powerful No 8 Picamoles from his 30-man squad to face Scotland as punishment for his sarcastic applause of Irish referee Allain Rolland when the official showed him a yellow card against Wales.

Parra, meanwhile, will find out tomorrow if he faces further sanction for an alleged head-butt on Montpellier winger Rene Ranger in Saturday's Top 14 clash.

It had been expected that Parra would come back into the team alongside Castres out-half Remi Tales, but a lengthy suspension would put paid to those plans.

Perhaps the biggest blow comes in the form of Fofana's broken rib, with the classy Clermont centre set to miss the rest of the tournament, while Nyanga is a doubt for Ireland's game after being ruled out of the meeting with Scotland.

Ireland, meanwhile, are sweating on the fitness of Peter O'Mahony ahead of next week's meeting with Italy after the flanker strained his hamstring in Saturday's 13-10 defeat to England.

Brian O'Driscoll's injury has been confirmed as "calf cramping" by the IRFU who say "no other player sustained an injury of note", clearing Jonathan Sexton for a return to Paris, where he will be expected to play some part in Racing Metro's Top 14 clash at home to Castres on Saturday.

The rest of Joe Schmidt's squad will assemble in Belfast tomorrow, with a number of replacements hoping to see Pro12 action for their provinces at the weekend.

Schmidt will be hoping a number of players coming back from injury can make further progress, with Luke Fitzgerald having come through Leinster's win over Cardiff Blues unscathed.

Irish Independent