France captain Thierry Dusautoir out of Six Nations
France's hopes of a successful Six Nations tournament suffered a major blow on Sunday as it was announced by his Top 14 club Toulouse that captain Thierry Dusautoir had been ruled out of the tournament.
Dusautoir, who has 65 caps and was voted world player of the year in 2011, is expected to be out for four months.
The 32-year-old flanker, who will have surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday, will also miss the Heineken Cup quarters.
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"Thierry was back to his best and had an important leadership role in this group," France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said. "Pascal will lead his troops in the right direction early in the tournament."
Uncapped flanker Virgile Bruni and fullback Jean-Marcellin Buttin have been added to a 30-man squad gathering on Sunday for a two-week training camp ahead of the opening match at home to England on February 1, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) said.
France, who finished bottom of the Six Nations last year, have been plagued by a series of injuries and had already been deprived of several key players including centre Florian Fritz, scrumhalf Morgan Parra and winger Vincent Clerc.
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