Anthony Jelonch, the third row of Toulouse and the Blues, injured in the right knee, had to withdraw from the Six Nations Tournament, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Monday January 22. Jelonch (27 years old, 29 caps) is replaced by his teammate with the Rouge et Noir Alexandre Roumat (26 years old, 0 caps) in the French XV.

“Anthony called me last night [Sunday], after his MRI, to explain that he had a ruptured anterior cruciate in his right knee. We all know the protocol and the length of unavailability for this type of injury. We really wish him a lot of courage, we will miss him,” detailed coach Fabien Galthié. His absence in the Six Nations Tournament will be detrimental to the Blues, because he was applying for a starting place. Jelonch should be replaced in the starting XV by another Toulouse, François Cros (29 years old, 27 caps).

Jelonch injured his cruciate ligaments during Stade Toulouse’s victory over Bath (31-19) on Sunday in the Champions Cup, tackling an opponent shortly before the hour mark. not relieved immediately but the third row was able to return to the bench and it was then difficult to imagine that his injury was so serious.

Unknown unavailability for Meafou

This diagnosis is a hard blow, with the bad impression that history is repeating itself at Jelonch’s expense. Because, at the end of February 2023, it was his left knee which gave way, with rupture of the cruciates, during a Six Nations Tournament match against Scotland.

The former Castres player embarked on a race against time for six months to participate in the World Cup. A bet won for the Gersois, lined up from the start for the second match of the competition, on September 14, 2023, against Uruguay.

Other bad news for the Blues: the absence of Emmanuel Meafou. The second row of Toulouse is also injured, announced the FFR, without specifying the duration of the unavailability of the player of Australian origin, recently naturalized.

“It would be a grade 2 knee sprain, externally. And that means a more or less long package, I can’t tell you the duration of the unavailability, but it’s an immediate absence,” continued Galthié, deprived of his new nugget for the first match against Ireland, February 2, in Marseille.