sport news SIMON SAYS: Locals request prayer over Antoine Dupont's injury, as France holds ... trends now
The Pope is in France this weekend and the locals will be requesting a special prayer for Antoine Dupont. The mood is similar to when David Beckham broke his metatarsal before the 2002 World Cup. There is minute-by-minute coverage as a nation holds its breath.
Dupont’s injury has been front-page news for two days. Local papers have been printing computer generated images of maxillo-zygomatic fractures and seeking comment from specialist surgeons. Suddenly the entire country is an expert in facial anatomy.
Most of France shared Dupont’s tears when he trudged off holding his face on Thursday night. They desperately need their captain back. Dupont’s team are favourites to reach the final but a knockout match against Ireland or South Africa feels like a far more daunting assignment without their talismanic No 9.
Since 2019, the hosts have won 87 per cent of their games with Dupont and 64 per cent without him. He went for surgery at 11pm on Friday and there is a growing narrative that he could make a miraculous comeback for the quarter-final. That will take bloody-mindedness and bravery because, by rushing back, he would be at risk of re-injury. He seems