Ireland’s biggest World Cup pool rival could be without a key back for the tournament

FRANCE CENTRE GAEL Fickou will miss the rest of the season after damaging the interior cruicate ligament in his left knee Toulouse general manager Guy Noves told AFP on Sunday.

It is an injury that could also endanger his hopes of playing for France in the World Cup

Noves said the 21-year-old — who put in a sparkling performance for France in the 55-35 defeat by England in their Six Nations clash last weekend — will definitely be out of action for ‘between two and two-and-a-half months’ after suffering a ‘severely sprained left knee’ in the 34-24 victory over defending Top 14 champions Toulon on Saturday.

“He underwent scans this morning (Sunday) which revealed that he had a damaged interior cruciate ligament but it will not require an operation,” said Noves.

Fickou, who suffered the injury when he collided with centre partner Mathieu Bastareaud, adds to Noves’s long-term injury list in the backs.

“It is a hard blow for the club who are already without (Alexis) Palisson (knee) and (Clement) Poitrenaud (ankle) till the end of the season,” said Noves.

Fickou’s hopes of making the long list for the World Cup, being hosted by England and which gets underway in September, rests with head coach Philippe Saint-Andre who names his initial 36 player squad on May 19.

– © AFP 2015

One of England’s biggest World Cup weapons won’t play rugby again this seasonToulon have a 21-year-old Fijian prodigy on the wing and he looks devastating