Antoine Dupont during the match against Namibia, September 21, 2023 at the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille. CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP
The prospect of seeing Antoine Dupont play again during the Rugby World Cup is becoming more and more clear. Tuesday September 26, the forward coach of the XV of France William Servat assured at a press conference that he did not “not too many doubts about Antoine Dupont’s ability to play in the quarter-final” of the World Cup, October 14 or 15.
The Blues, at the top of Group A, are in a favorable position to qualify for the quarters, before their last match against Italy, on October 6 in Lyon, during the 4th and last day of the group stage.
The French rugby star will be “back for Sunday training”explained William Servat. “Antoine is doing very well today. The operation went very well, he is resting. Friday and Saturday are rest days for us, he will have time to come back within this time frame”Servat estimated.
The captain and scrum half of the Blues was operated on Friday for a maxillo-zygomatic fracture after being hit violently on the head by Namibian center and captain Johan Deysel on Thursday during the match won 96 to 0.
Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Antoine Dupont’s injury, “an ordinary fracture on an extraordinary patient”
Deysel sanctioned with a suspension of at least five matches
Furthermore, Johan Deysel was sanctioned on Tuesday with a suspension of at least five matches following this high tackle.
Johan Deysel was sentenced to a six-match suspension, a sanction which will be reduced by one game if he follows training intended to improve tackling techniques, which he has announced he intends to do.
“The player admitted his fault, and that it deserved a red card”, said the international rugby federation, World Rugby, in a press release. The theoretical sanction for his action, taking into account the injury caused, was a suspension of twelve matches. The disciplinary committee, having taken into account “the fact that the player immediately admitted the fault and the sanction, the player’s exemplary disciplinary record and his apologies” to Antoine Dupont, reduced this sanction by half.
The Namibian will therefore miss his team’s last match in the World Cup, Wednesday against Uruguay. Johan Deysel had, after the meeting, expressed his apologies to the French captain. “I would like to extend my best wishes to Antoine Dupont. Obviously I didn’t want to hurt him. It all happened very quickly and I couldn’t position my head quickly enough, resulting in a head impact. I know the rules and I immediately understood that I was at fault”the center explained.
Read also: After Antoine Dupont’s injury, the foreign press is worried about the absence of “the headliner of the tournament”