MARSEILLE, FRANCE, Sept. 23 — Namibia’s captain, Johan Deysel, has issued a heartfelt apology for the unfortunate injury suffered by French captain Antoine Dupont during the recent Rugby World Cup match on Thursday. The collision between the two players resulted in Dupont sustaining a broken jaw, casting doubt over his participation in the remainder of the tournament.
In a statement released by World Rugby, Deysel expressed his remorse, saying, “I didn’t want to hurt him. It all happened very quickly, and I couldn’t position my head quickly enough, which resulted in a head impact. I know the rules, and I immediately understood that I was at fault.”
He further added, “I spoke with coach Fabien Galthié immediately after the match and sent my best wishes and apologies to Antoine, personally and through the French team doctor. He’s a significant player and a great personality, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Initially, Deysel was shown a yellow card for the tackle, but this was subsequently upgraded to a red card after a review by the television match official. As a result of the incident, Dupont was forced to leave the field for a concussion assessment and did not make a return.
The French Rugby Federation confirmed on Friday that Dupont had sustained a “maxillo-zygomatic fracture” and would return to Toulouse to consult specialists for a comprehensive evaluation of the extent of his injury. Currently, the duration of his absence from the game remains uncertain, but it is likely that he will miss the remainder of France’s pool matches.
Deysel’s apology has been met with understanding from many fans and pundits who acknowledge the accidental nature of the collision. Nevertheless, some have criticized the Namibian captain for the reckless technique displayed during the tackle.
The pivotal question now is whether Dupont will manage to recover in time for the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup. His potential absence would be a significant setback for France, one of the tournament’s top contenders, and rugby enthusiasts will be eagerly awaiting updates on his condition and recovery progress.