Danty and Jelonch could play for France against Uruguay in 2nd Rugby World Cup game

PARIS (AP) — Center Jonathan Danty and flanker Anthony Jelonch could feature for France in its second Rugby World Cup pool game against Uruguay next week, backs coach Laurent Labit said on Saturday.

Danty is recovering from a sore hamstring after a try-scoring appearance in the 41-17 warmup win against Australia two Sundays ago, and is tipped to win his 24th test cap on Thursday in Lille.

“Yes, he should be back next week,” Labit said. “We could have put him on the field against the All Blacks (on Friday night) but that would have been taking a risk for the rest of the World Cup.”

Jelonch is almost ready after working his way back from rupturing his ACL in late February.

Jelonch, who scored two tries during the Six Nations Grand Slam campaign in 2022, was earmarked for a return against Namibia on Sept. 21.

But Labit said he’s beating the clock and might even play a part against Uruguay.

“His procedure is well in advance,” Labit said. “We’ll ask ourselves the question whether we should play him against Uruguay. Yes, we could see him out on the field. However, we’re going to wait a while for Cyril Baille.”

Baille is recovering from a calf injury.

Meanwhile, France hooker Julien Marchand could face several weeks out after sustaining a hamstring injury in the 12th minute of the 27-13 win against New Zealand. He will have further tests next week to determine the length of his absence, amid reports he could be out for up to five weeks.

“We’re not going to hurry things,” Labit said. “Julien was not down to play against Uruguay on Thursday. We have two hookers who are in very good form (Peato Mauvaka and Pierre Bourgarit).”

Mauvaka was excellent when he replaced Marchand, and offered a try-scoring threat with six in 25 tests.

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AP rugby: https://apnews.com/hub/rugby

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