France’s preparations for their final clash of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations have been hit by an injury to their captain and talisman Guilhem Guirado.
The hooker, so impressive on Saturday as Les Bleus took down England at the Stade de France, suffered a blow to his right knee in the 22-16 victory.
Click here for the complete 2018 NatWest 6 Nations fixture list
The skipper remains in the squad for the trip to Cardiff for now, but Pierre Bourgarit has been called up and it is thought that Guirado is unlikely to feature on Saturday against Wales.
Also out of the trip to Cardiff is lock Romain Taofifenua after a thigh injury sustained during Le Crunch on Saturday.
His place is taken by Arthur Iturria – the Clermont lock appeared in the first two games of this year’s Championship as France were downed by Ireland and Scotland.
But Iturria returns to a French side on a two-match winning run after downing both Italy and England in rounds three and four.
And while Guirado’s absence would be a blow for Jacques Brunel – leadership is not lacking in Les Bleus’ squad with Guirado’s Toulon teammate Mathieu Bastareaud a candidate to take on the captaincy.