France's Six Nations hopes have been dealt a seismic blow with the news that captain Thierry Dusautoir will miss the tournament.
The Toulouse flanker has been ruled out for three to four months with a ruptured ligament in his bicep, according to reports in France. Dusautoir sustained the injury in Toulouse's 16-6 win over Zebre in the European Cup on Saturday.
France will now be without the inspirational talisman for the whole tournament, with Dusautoir also likely to miss the quarter-finals of the European Cup for Toulouse.
Dusautoir guided France to the 2011 World Cup final, winning the IRB Player of the Year award.
The 32-year-old is now likely to be replaced as captain for the Six Nations by Pascal Papé.
Photo: John Berry/Getty Images