Tolofua injury leaves France down to the bare bones for Ireland opener

The Saracans hooker is set to miss the entire Six Nations championship with a back problem.

SARACENS HOOKER CHRISTOPHER Tolofua has been ruled out of France’s opening Six Nations match against Ireland on Saturday with a back injury.

Christopher Tolofua and CJ Stander CJ Stander hands off Tolofua during last year's Six Nations. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Tolofua, capped seven times, is the second back-up to captain Guilhem Guirado to withdraw from the squad after Camille Chat pulled out with a bout of flu.

That leaves head coach Jacques Brunel with uncapped rookie Adrien Pelissie as a replacement for Guirado heading into this weekend’s showdown at the Stade de France.

Toulon’s Guirado has been suffering with gastritis this week, but he is still expected to recover in time to start. Tolofua, meanwhile, will miss the entire championship.

- © AFP, 2018 with additional reporting by Ben Blake 

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