France suffering prop crisis ahead of crunch Six Nations tie against England at Twickenham on Saturday, with key players to miss the clash through suspension and injury
- Les Bleus must win the match if they want to keep their Six Nations hopes alive
- Uini Atonio and Mohamed Haouas are both suspended for the round four clash
- Flanker Anthony Jelonch is another who won’t play at Twickenham due to injury
England’s next Six Nations opponents and defending champions France are facing up to a prop crisis for their trip to Twickenham.
Fabien Galthie’s side will travel to London a week on Saturday for a showdown which is a must-win for both teams if they are to keep their slim Championship hopes alive.
England and France each have two wins from three matches in 2023 to date but Les Bleus are set to be without key front-row forwards Uini Atonio and Mohamed Haouas for the round four clash.
Atonio is already banned while bad boy Haouas is set for another suspension after he was sent off for a headbutt on Ben White in France’s win over Scotland in Paris.
Haouas became the first player to be sent off twice in the Six Nations with his dismissal and was on Monday told he must attend a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.
Fabien Galthie’s France side are facing a prop crisis ahead of their game against England
Les Bleus are set to be without key front-row forwards Uini Atonio (left) and Mohamed Haouas (right) for the clash
France flanker Anthony Jelonch is another who won’t play at Twickenham after suffering a serious knee injury against Scotland, whose lock Grant Gilchrist is also set for a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday. Gilchrist was sent off against France for a high tackle.
The injuries are starting to mount up across the tournament. Unbeaten leaders and Grand Slam-chasing Ireland have lost prop Finlay Bealham for the rest of the Championship with a knee problem. But their head coach Andy Farrell has named returning superstars Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson-Park and Robbie Henshaw in his latest squad after they returned to full fitness.
The trio – as well as captain Johnny Sexton and centre Garry Ringrose – should be fit to face Scotland in news which shows the enviable strength in depth Ireland have at their disposal.
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton is set to be fit to face Scotland on Sunday afternoon
Italy’s hopes of beating Wales in Rome have been dealt a huge blow with the news their world-class full-back Ange Capuozzo is likely to miss the rest of the Six Nations.
Both Wales and Italy are yet to win a game but Capuozzo looks set to be ruled out of their meeting with a shoulder problem.
The problems suffered by Jelonch and Capuozzo are also bad news for their club Toulouse’s hopes of European glory.
Key French flanker Jelonch now faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup later this year after rupturing knee ligaments.