France’s Six Nations star to miss crunch head to head with Antoine Dupont

Jared Wright
Racing 92 scrum-half Nolann Le Garrec and Toulouse and France star Antoine Dupont.

We will have to wait a while longer for the Nolann Le Garrec v Antoine Dupont head to head.

Antoine Dupont and Nolann Le Garrec will not face off in the Investec Champions Cup last-16 tie on Sunday.

Le Garrec shone in the Les Bleus number nine jersey during the latter stages of the Six Nations in Dupont’s absence, who was representing France sevens.

This weekend was set to be the first time that the two scrum-halves would face off since the Six Nations as Toulouse and Racing 92 clash in the Investec Champions Cup knockout stages.

Le Garrec out

However, Le Garrec has been ruled out of the fixture due to a concussion he sustained in Racing 92’s 26-10 victory over Clermont in the Top 14.

The 21-year-old star is following World Rugby’s gradual return to play protocols, which rules him out of the fixture and denies him the opportunity to front up against Dupont.

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“It’s a shame for him and a shame for Racing,” club captain Gael Fickou told reporters.

“Nolann brings so much energy, so much fluidity to our game. We would have loved to have him with us but that’s how it is. I imagine that Toulouse will also have a few absentees.”

Le Garrec’s injury is another blow to Racing 92’s playing stocks, with James Hall missing the fixture and the rest of the season due to a ruptured knee ligament.

Scrum-half has been a bit of a problem position for Stuart Lancaster this season, with Clovis Le Bail also missing most of the season through injury which led to Antoine Gibert deputising out in the role when not starting in his favoured fly-half role, while outside backs Juan Imhoff and Max Spring have slotted in on occasion.

Le Bail is set to feature against Toulouse, while there is also a chance that Gibert may miss the clash with an ankle injury, with Lancaster stating that he is “50-50” fitness-wise.

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Toulouse update

As for Toulouse, they have Dupont back in their squad after his stint with the sevens team and also welcomed back Romain Ntamack, who made his first appearance back from injury since August last year.

The fly-half’s return is a welcomed boost for the five-time Investec Champions Cup champions, particularly after Thomas Ramos’ injury.

Ramos started the Six Nations at full-back before moving to fly-half after Matthieu Jalibert’s injury and continued in the number 10 jumper for Toulouse upon his return, but he sustained a pelvic injury against Bordeaux and is likely to still be sidelined this week.

Meanwhile, Scotland international Blair Kinghorn is set to make his return from injury against Racing 92 and continue his fine start to life in France after scoring two tries on his debut against Cardiff.

Finally, Italian star Ange Capuozzo is still not ready to return to action as he struggles with a finger injury.

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