France lose captain to injury

Sun, 21 Oct 2012 17:58
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Lock Pascal Pape will take over the captaincy

France captain Thierry Dusautoir will be out for up to six weeks after injuring his knee in European Cup action for Toulouse, club coach Guy Noves has confirmed.

Dusautoir, capped 54 times for France, twisted his knee in a tackle in Toulouse's 33-21 victory over Treviso on Saturday.

"Thierry suffered a twisted internal lateral ligament with a slight tear," said Noves. "It's an injury that necessitates between four and six weeks rest according to his ability to properly recuperate.

"It's a hard hit for him and also Toulouse which will have to do without him while the club faces some tough challenges ahead."

The injury means the flank will likely play a minor role in Les Bleus' upcoming internationals, which kick-off against Australia on November 10, before matches against Argentina and Samoa on the following weekends.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre told AFP that he wanted to see "how the injury evolved" before potentially replacing Dusautoir in his initial 33-man squad, adding that a decision would be taken during a meeting of backroom staff on Tuesday.

In the absence of Dusautoir, the captain's armband is passed to 42-times capped lock Pascal Pape, who skippered the team during the tour to Argentina when Dusautoir was left at home to rest.