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Romain Ntamack ruled out of the tournament due to anterior cruciate ligament injury.

France’s fly-half Romain Ntamack’s hopes of participating in a Rugby World Cup on home soil have been dashed due to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. The 24-year-old sustained the injury during Les Bleus’ 30-27 victory over Scotland in a World Cup warm-up match.

As hosts of the tournament, France was slated to open the competition against New Zealand on September 8 at Stade de France. However, Ntamack’s absence has necessitated adjustments, with Bordeaux Begles’ Matthieu Jalibert likely to take over the pivotal role of starting fly-half for the French team.

Ntamack’s exit from the field occurred in the latter stages of the match against Scotland, prompting a subsequent knee scan. Widely regarded as a standout player, his absence is a significant blow, particularly given his recent contributions to Toulouse’s Top 14 title win with a memorable solo try against La Rochelle.

His absence further reverberates as he played a central role in France’s Grand Slam victory during the 2022 Six Nations tournament, featuring in every minute of their triumphant campaign.

Ugo Moyne, a former England international, expressed the magnitude of the setback, particularly in the context of playing on home turf and being considered favorites for the championship. Ntamack’s previous World Cup participation in 2019, where France reached the quarter-finals, underscores his significance to the team.

Romain Ntamack ruled out of the tournament due to anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Ntamack himself conveyed a determined message of resilience with a “I’ll be back” post following the news. His father, Emile Ntamack, a veteran of the 1995 and 1999 World Cups, shared a mixture of optimism and acknowledgment of the rarity of playing in a home World Cup. He acknowledged his son’s preparedness for the challenge but also recognized the unforeseen nature of the injury.

The French Sports Minister, Amelie Oudea-Castera, expressed the team’s sentiments, emphasizing Ntamack’s absence and his irreplaceable “flair.” The minister’s tweet conveyed the hope that despite his physical absence, his spirit remains intertwined with the team’s journey.

France’s challenges extend beyond Ntamack’s injury, as they will also have to contend without loose-head prop Cyril Baille, who faces a six-week absence due to a calf injury. The team’s resilience will undoubtedly be put to the test as they navigate these setbacks in their quest for World Cup success.

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