Willemse's World Cup hopes over
INJURY UPDATE: It must is heartbreaking to have your World Cup hopes dashed because of injury.
France reserve Paul Willemse has been ruled out of this year’s tournament in Japan.
The French Federation (FFR) revealed that Romain Taofifenua has replaced Willemse in France’s reserve list.
Taofifenua, 28, won the last of his 12 caps in the Six Nations victory over Italy in February 2018 in his only appearance under head coach Jacques Brunel.
The FFR did not provide details of the 26-year-old South African-born lock’s injury.
Willemse was part of a six-man reserve list picked by head coach Jacques Brunel as back-up in case of injuries.
He has returned to his club Montpellier to recover.
Les Bleus start their World Cup campaign against Argentina on September 21 before facing the USA, Tonga and then England in what promises to be a tough Pool C.
France’s 31-man Rugby World Cup squad:
Forwards: Gregory Alldritt, Demba Bamba, Yacouba Camara, Camille Chat, Paul Gabrillagues, Guilhem Guirado, Arthur Iturria, Felix Lambey, Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard Le Roux, Peato Mauvaka, Jefferson Poirot, Louis Picamoles, Dany Priso, Emerick Setiano, Rabah Slimani, Sebastien Vahaamahina.
Backs: Geoffrey Doumayrou, Antoine Dupont, Gael Fickou, Wesley Fofana, Sofiane Guitoune, Yoann Huget, Camille Lopez, Maxime Machenaud, Maxime Medard, Romain Ntamack, Damian Penaud, Alivereti Raka, Thomas Ramos, Baptiste Serin.
Reserves: Anthony Belleau, Francois Cros, Etienne Falgoux, Charles Ollivon, Vincent Rattez.
🔴 #XVdeFrance : Suite à des examens médicaux, @PaulWillemse4 (@MHR_officiel) est forfait et quitte la préparation à la Coupe du Monde de Rugby 2019 pour se soigner avec son club. Jacques Brunel communiquera le nom de son remplaçant dans la journée. #RWC2019 #NeFaisonsXV pic.twitter.com/jeYDsM5pKY
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) July 10, 2019