Dusautoir blow for Les Bleus
France captain Thierry Dusautoir looks set to miss the entire RBS 6 Nations because of injury.
Toulouse coach Guy Noves told L'Equipe that flanker Dusautoir suffered ruptured biceps during the 16-6 Heineken Cup victory over Italian side Zebre on Saturday.
It is reported that France's 2011 World Cup skipper will undergo surgery later this week and could be sidelined for four months.
"It is a rupture of a tendon of the right biceps. He will be out for four months," Noves said.
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre will be left reeling by the news, which comes just a fortnight before Les Bleus open their Six Nations campaign against England in Paris.
Saint-Andre is set to announce a replacement for Dusautoir in his 30-man Six Nations squad on Sunday.
He confirmed that Stade Francais forward Pascal Pape will captain France for the Six Nations in Dusautoir's absence.
Pape has skippered his country on eight previous occasions, and is set to win his 50th cap when he lines up England next month.
"Thierry was back to his best and had an important leadership role in this group," Saint-Andre told the French Rugby Federation's official website.
"Pascal will lead his troops in the right direction early in the tournament, and the first match against England."