Fickou in a race to be fit for Rugby World Cup

Toulouse general manager Guy Noves says that he is optimistic that France centre Gael Fickou will regain his fitness in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Fickou has been ruled out of action due to a knee injury for two months which puts him in doubt for the Rugby World Cup later this year.

Noves said that the 21-year-old who one of France’s better players in their 55-35 loss to England 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.

“Gael has big hopes of competing in the World Cup and I don’t think there will be a problem,” said Noves of the tournament which starts mid-September.

“If he returns earlier we’ll welcome him with open arms but he’s a young player and we must be cautious. Between rest and recovery he will be absent for at least two months. We want to do things correctly.”

Noves added: “The French team will have two months to prepare for the World Cup and if the staff believe that he has proven he can be in the group there shouldn’t be any reason (why he shouldn’t).”

Noves pointed out that Montpellier’s French international fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc and Clermont scrum-half Morgan Parra had also both been sidelined injured.

“You can see that we’re talking again about Trin-Duhc, who had a fracture (but returned for Montpellier at the weekend), but also Parra so we mustn’t deprive ourselves of the best players, it’s obvious.”

Noves, meanwhile, admitted that his team might draft in medical cover for their growing injury list with Alexis Palisson (knee) and Clement Poitrenaud (ankle) also sidelined.

“The question is whether we can get a player capable of playing at a certain level, the playoffs notably,” said Noves.

Toulouse are fifth in the Top 14 with the top six teams advancing to the playoffs with five games to play.

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