Injured Willemse ruled out as back-up for France's RWC squad

Paul Willemse (Getty Images)
Paul Willemse (Getty Images)

Paris - Second-rower Romain Taofifenua has replaced injured South African-born Paul Willemse on France's reserve list for their Rugby World Cup squad, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) said on Wednesday.

Taofifenua, 28, won the last of his 12 caps in the Six Nations victory over Italy in February 2018 in his only appearance under current head coach Jacques Brunel.

Willemse, 26, was ruled out for the tournament after undergoing medical tests after being named among six players as back-up to Brunel's 31-man party for the tournament in Japan which begins on September 20.

The FFR did not provide details of the injury sustained by Willemse.

All 37 players have been together since Saturday in Paris as Les Bleus prepare to play Scotland twice and Italy once in three warm-up matches in August.

Veteran centre Mathieu Bastareaud and experienced scrumhalf Morgan Parra were the main absentees from the squad.

France will face Argentina, the USA, Tonga and England in their World Cup pool.

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