Dupont has surgery on facial injury, returns to France squad

France captain Antoine Dupont has undergone surgery on a facial injury and will return to his Rugby World Cup squad to recover, the French federation (FFR) said on Saturday, though it gave no timeline for when the scrumhalf might return to the field.

The 26-year-old sustained the injury in Thursday's 96-0 record win against Namibia in a head-to-head clash with opposing captain Johan Deysel, whose initial yellow card was upgraded to a red.

- RUGBY WORLD CUP 2023: Squads | Schedule | Standings | Podcast | Injuries

"Following his injury sustained during the France-Namibia match, Antoine Dupont underwent surgery at Toulouse's CHU Purpan on 22 September at around 11 p.m.," the federation said in a statement.

"In a few days' time, he will be able to return to the French team as part of a gradual sporting recovery under medical supervision."

The FFR did not say when Dupont would be able to play again but the player sounded optimistic on Saturday.

"Wounded but not sunk. Show must go on. Can't wait to return to the squad," Dupont wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

France, who are already without flyhalf Romain Ntamack at the World Cup due to injury, next face Italy on Oct. 6. It is likely to be a must-win game for the tournament hosts unless the Italians can beat New Zealand on Sept. 29.

France could face top ranked Ireland or defending champions South Africa in the quarter-finals on the weekend of Oct. 14-15.

Dupont's absence against Italy leaves coach Fabien Galthie to choose between Baptiste Couilloud and Maxime Lucu to replace the 2021 World Player of the Year.

France have won 27 of 31 tests with Dupont in their ranks and lost four of 11 in his absence.