France head coach Brunel defends decision to send Ramos home

Despite having his World Cup cut short by injury, the fullback played all 80 minutes for Toulouse yesterday.

France and Toulouse fullback Thomas Ramos.
France and Toulouse fullback Thomas Ramos.
Image: Christophe Ena

FRANCE COACH JACQUES Brunel said today it was his decision to send fullback Thomas Ramos home from Japan due to injury earlier this month, even though he was fit enough to play for his club Toulouse this weekend.

“It is on me, I had the role of making the decision about whether to change the player or not,” said Brunel during France’s preparations for their quarter-final against Wales next Sunday. “I take responsibility for making this decision because I thought it was the best decision for the French team.”

Ramos picked up an ankle injury during France’s 33-9 win over the United States on 2 October and was subsequently ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup, with La Rochelle fullback Vincent Rattez flown out as a replacement.

However, Ramos played the full 80 minutes seemingly with no ill-effects yesterday as Toulouse swept to a 36-15 win over Castres.

“There was a diagnosis that he would be unavailable for around 10 days,” added Brunel. “We had two matches to play against Tonga and England and we didn’t know the result of the England match against Argentina. We needed two fullbacks who were 100% fit.

“It is no laughing matter to send home Thomas Ramos because he is our fullback and one of our kickers, one of the two or three best in France. It was my decision. I don’t know if others would have acted differently but it is on me.”

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France have also lost Wesley Fofana, Demba Bamba and Peato Mauvaka to injury. 

© – AFP, 2019

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