Six Nations

Jalibert replaces Thomas in France squad for Six Nations finale

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Matthieu Jalibert. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Matthieu Jalibert. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert has replaced injured winger Teddy Thomas in France's squad for Saturday's potential Six Nations title decider against Ireland, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced.

The 27-year-old Thomas scored les Bleus' fifth try in last Saturday's victory over Wales and will be "unavailable for an unknown length of time" with a hamstring problem, the FFR said Tuesday.

Castres' two-time Test back-rower Anthony Jelonch had also been drafted into the France squad to replace Toulouse's uncapped No. 8 Selevasio Tolofua.

Later on Tuesday, France team manager Raphael Ibanez said lock Bernard Le Roux will be available for this weekend's fixture after being cleared of foul play against Wales.

Le Roux appeared to elbow opposition captain Alun Wyn Jones after 20 minutes of the win.

"It's with great pleasure that I inform you that our exemplary player has no charge against him," Ibanez tweeted.

"He will be able to defend our colours on Saturday against Ireland," he added.

Bordeaux-Begles' Jalibert, 21, withdrew from the squad two weeks ago for an unspecified medical reason but French media reported he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Uncapped Gabin Villiere and Arthur Retiere are the other wingers in coach Fabien Galthie's squad.

Galthie could also move centre Gael Fickou to the flank and bring Arthur Vincent into midfield as he did for two matches before the Six Nations was re-scheduled after the Covid-19 outbreak.

Fullback Anthony Bouthier, who was replaced at half-time in last weekend's victory after suffering concussion, will return to training at the end of the week at the earliest.

Galthie names his side to face Andy Farrell's men at the Stade de France at 1000 GMT Thursday.


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