The suspension of Deysel, 32, is due to last six matches, but it can be reduced to five matches if the Namibian three-quarter centre agrees to participate in a tackle training programme, world rugby's governing body said in a statement.

The scrum-half Dupont (26 years, 51 caps), out in the 46th minute of the match easily won by the Blues against Namibia Thursday night in Marseille (96-0), following a head-to-head collision with Deysel, was the victim of a maxillozygomatic fracture. He underwent surgery the next day.

The coaching staff of the XV of France hopes for a return of its major asset on the occasion of the quarter-finals, on October 14 or 15 at the Stade de France. The Blues, who are not yet qualified, must play a final group match against Italy on October 6 in Lyon.

Deysel, who had apologized after injuring Dupont, "intends to apply to participate in the tackle training program," World Rugby said in the statement.

Following his high tackle, the former Colomiers (ProD2) player received a yellow card, transformed into red by the refereeing body.

Thomas Ramos (left) tries to comfort Antoine Dupont during the exit on injury of the captain of XV of France against Namibia on September 21, 2023 at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille © CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP/Archives

"It's clear that I didn't want to hurt him. Everything happened very quickly and I couldn't place my head fast enough, which resulted in a shock to the head. I know the rules and I immediately understood that I was at fault," Deysel said the day after the match, in a statement relayed by World Rugby.

© 2023 AFP