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Blow for France ahead of Six Nations as Vakatawa suffers knee injury

The elusive centre was forced off during Racing 92′s defeat to Bordeaux yesterday.

Vakatawa celebrates a try against Ireland last year.
Vakatawa celebrates a try against Ireland last year.
Image: Dave Winter/INPHO

FRANCE HAVE CONFIRMED an injury blow ahead of the start of the 2021 Six Nations with outside centre Virimi Vakatawa forced to pull out of their pre-championship training camp with a knee issue.

The 28-year-old was forced off after just 11 minutes of Racing 92′s defeat to Bordeaux in the Top 14 yesterday and has now been replaced in the France squad by Lyon centre Pierre-Louis Barassi.

Vakatawa is a key player for France and head coach Fabien Galthié will hope the elusive midfielder can recover to play some part in this year’s Six Nations, which kicks off in two weekends’ time when les Bleus visit Rome to play Italy.

The France boss is already without first-choice out-half Romain Ntamack, who is currently sidelined with a jaw injury but should be back in action at some stage during the Six Nations.

Number eight Grégory Alldritt is also currently an injury worry as he deals with a knee issue, although he was impressive in La Rochelle’s big Top 14 win over Bayonne on Friday. 

There have been fears about France’s participation in the Six Nations due to the latest severe wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but their government has given the green light for Galthié’s side to travel to Rome.

As yet, the French authorities have not publicly confirmed a final decision on France’s visits to Ireland on 14 February and England on 13 March, but Six Nations organisers have stated their confidence that the championship will go ahead as currently scheduled.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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