France dealt World Cup blow as Dupont undergoes surgery
France have confirmed scrum-half Antoine Dupont has undergone surgery on a fractured cheekbone.
Les Blues' skipper, 26, sustained a damaging blow to the face in Thursday's Rugby World Cup win over Namibia.
The 2021 World Rugby men's Player of the Year was substituted in the 46th minute of the 96-0 victory and now faces a race against time to be fit for the latter stages of the competition on home soil.
A France Rugby Federation statement said: "Following his injury sustained during the France-Namibia match, Antoine Dupont underwent surgery at Toulouse's Purpan University on Friday at around 11pm.
"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."
France are considered favourites for the global showpiece having started their tournament with a dominant 27-13 victory over New Zealand in their Pool A opener.
Attack coach Laurent Labit says the team will seek a suitable solution for Dupont’s absence ahead of their next game against Italy on October 6.
He explained: "Antoine stays with us, everyone will be together.
"We will do as we have always done with short-term injuries in hoping that the opinion of the surgeon is positive for Antoine and us.
"The specialist will give the verdict and Antoine will make the decision.
"We will respect that. We can't think too far ahead.
"We're looking ahead to the Italy game and we'll be going there with our best team.
"We're going to do what we always do. We'll get together to decide on the best team based on the strategy we've chosen for this match.
"We have three scrum-halves. Both Baptiste [Couilloud] and Maxime [Lucu] will be able to start. We'll think about it after looking at our opponents."