France embarrassed over Atonio call-up blunder
The French Rugby Federation has been left red-faced after announcing the call-up of an injured player to its World Cup squad.
The FFR initially announced on Sunday morning that La Rochelle tighthead prop Uini Atonio would be joining the squad as an injury replacement for Demba Bamba.
But French administrators discovered that Atonio had suffered a neck injury during La Rochelle’s defeat at Bayonne on Saturday in the
Top 14, and would not be fit to take part in France’s attempt to qualify from Pool C.
The FFR deleted its tweet announcing Atonio as Bamba’s replacement, before sending out a message indicating that Racing 92’s Cedate Gomes
Sa would link up with the squad in Japan, as well as a statement that read: “We announced the call-up of Uini Atonio earlier, but following a medical assessment, he is not able to join the squad. We apologise to all who passed on incorrect information.” French news outlet Figaro reported that there had been a breakdown in communication between the FFR, La Rochelle and Atonio himself, but the FFR elected to announce his call-up via social media and email regardless.
Meanwhile, World Rugby has confirmed that France’s Pool C clash with the United States in Fukuoka tomorrow will go ahead, after concerns that the match would be affected by Typhoon Mitag.
France United States Kick-off: Replacements
In and out again: Prop Uini Atonio was injured in the Top 14 for La Rochelle