Jalibert replaces Thomas in France squad for Six Nations finale

PARIS (AFP) – Fly-half 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 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 yesterday.

Bordeaux-Begles’ Jalibert, 21, withdrew from the squad two weeks ago due to an unspecified medical reason but media reports claimed he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Uncapped Gabin Villiere and Arthur Retiere are the other wingers in coach Fabien Galthie’s set-up.

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

Full-back Anthony Bouthier who was replaced at half-time of last weekend’s victory after suffering concussion will only return to training at the end of the week at the earliest.

French fly-half Matthieu Jalibert has replaced injured winger Teddy Thomas in France’s squad for Saturday’s potential Six Nations title decider against Ireland. PHOTO: AFP