The fly-half suffered a knee injury in the 30-27 win over Scotland in Saint-Etienne
France fly-half Romain Ntamack is out of the World Cup with an ACL injury.
Ntamack was helped off the pitch at Saint-Etienne’s Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with a knee problem after 56 minutes in Saturday’s 30-27 World Cup warm-up match win over Scotland.
Related: France Rugby World Cup squad
Scans have revealed a tear in the ACL which will require surgery with a normal recovery time of six to nine months.
Ntamack confirmed the news, when he took to social media on Monday morning, writing: “I’ll be back.”
It is a huge blow for Fabien Galthié’s side and casts a cloud over a record-breaking victory for les Bleus. They recorded their 12th win in a row on French soil, finally beating – after 46 years – the 11-match streak of the 1977 France team.
Ntamack is not the only injury concern for the World Cup hosts as prop Cyril Baille was also revealed to have a calf problem that will rule him out for five to six weeks. France’s first game is against New Zealand on 8 September in just under four weeks and they then have three games in 13 days. Baille, therefore, may only make it back for their final Pool A encounter against Italy on Friday 6 October.
Related: France Rugby World Cup fixtures
Of the two France injuries, Ntamack’s was the most worrying for staff a week out from the World Cup squad announcement and now their worst fears have been realised. Bordeaux-Begles fly-half Matthieu Jalibert replaced Ntamack on Saturday and is set to be handed the No 10 shirt for the tournament in his absence.
Immediately after the match, head coach Fabien Galthie told reporters that Ntamack had suffered a “slight hyper-extension of the knee” and had been replaced as a precaution.
Squad announcement after Romain Ntamack out of World Cup
Galthie is due to announce his final 33-player list in a special lunchtime TV broadcast on Monday, August 21. Even if he has suffered a calf tear, Baille is a near-certainty for France’s World Cup squad. Reda Wardi should step up to a starting role in the opening match against New Zealand if needed.
La Rochelle centre Jonathan Danty suffered a rib injury that forced him off the pitch. Unlike Ntamack and Baille, he returned for the post-match lap of honour. Reports in France suggest no further examinations are needed.
Tighthead Demba Bamba, meanwhile, was released to his club Lyon this week after picking up an ankle injury in France’s first warm-up match against Scotland in Edinburgh. Thomas Laclayat, who joined Racing 92 from Oyonnax this summer, has been called up to the squad.
France’s warm-up schedule continues on August 19 against Fiji at Nantes’ Stade de la Beaujoire. It concludes – after the World Cup squad announcement – against Australia at Stade de France, on August 26.
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