France issue fresh update on star players
NEWS: Assistant coach Karim Ghezal provided an update on France duo Damian Penaud and Antoine Dupont ahead of next weekend’s World Cup quarterfinals.
The hosts secured their place in the last eight with a 60-7 win over Italy in their final pool game in Lyon on Friday.
A huge spotlight has been on Dupont in the last two weeks. The 26-year-old underwent surgery after suffering a cheekbone fracture in a clash of heads with Johan Deysel in the 96-0 drubbing of Namibia on September 21.
He will be seeing his surgeon again on Monday to determine if he is ready to play in the quarters.
However, judging from Ghezal’s comments on Saturday, Dupont’s return is looking increasingly likely.
“His physical qualities are impressive. He’s worked hard physically, done a lot of running, a lot of speed work,” said Ghezal.
“Those are his strong points. The next step is the appointment with his surgeon, who will decide.
“Physically, he hasn’t lost much in the week he’s been off, quite the opposite in fact. Physically, he’s in great shape.”
Ghezal went on to ease fears over Penaud, who was seen limping after the win against Italy.
“Everything’s fine. It happens to him in training too,” Ghezal added.
“I think it’s a slight knock to his tibia.
“All the players are going to have a medical assessment this [Saturday] morning. From what I’ve heard, we don’t have any concerns with any players. Damian is 100 percent.”