Fabien Galthié has been dealt a massive injury blow ahead of France’s Guinness Six Nations showdown with Ireland after flying winger Teddy Thomas was ruled out with a hamstring strain.
Thomas, 27, sustained the injury in last weekend’s 38-21 warm-up win over Wales in which he also scored a brilliant late try to help fire Les Bleus to victory.
The Racing 92 star will now miss Saturday’s decisive clash and has been replaced in the squad by fly-half Matthieu Jalibert.
France are chasing their first Guinness Six Nations title in ten years and must beat Ireland to stand a chance of claiming the title.
Losing Thomas is an obvious blow after the winger looked in fine form against Wales, where he collected his own deft chip to run in the last of his side’s five tries in Paris.
Galthié has now been forced into a rethink, while full-back Anthony Bouthier – who made his Test debut against England in Round 1 – could also miss out with concussion.
France host Ireland acutely aware they must beat them, and better England’s result in Italy, to scoop their sixth title of the Six Nations era.
But Andy Farrell’s side travel to Paris knowing they remain the only Championship outfit with their fate in their own hands, bidding to replicate their 2018 hegemony and win their second title in the space of three years.
Away from Paris, Eddie Jones’ England will be ready to swoop should Ireland fail to beat France and they secure a bonus-point victory over bottom of the table Italy in Rome.