• Fly-half has fractured jaw and will miss start of tournament
  • Matthieu Jalibert the frontrunner to replace 21-year-old

France’s preparations for the Six Nations have suffered a significant blow after the fly-half Romain Ntamack revealed he has sustained a double jaw fracture. Ntamack, who requires surgery, will miss the start of France’s campaign and could face two months out.

The 21-year-old was among the shining lights of this year’s competition and was on the shortlist for player of the championship. He has forged an impressive half-back partnership with his Toulouse teammate Antoine Dupont but France will almost certainly begin the championship away to Italy on 6 February without him.

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