Rugby-Dupont undergoes light training as France prepare for Italy

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Pool A - France v Namibia - Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France - September 21, 2023 France's Antoine Dupont receives medical attention after sustaining an injury REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

(Reuters) - Antoine Dupont trained on Sunday, a day after returning to the France World Cup squad following surgery on a broken cheekbone as the scrumhalf steps up his bid to take part in the quarter-finals.

The French captain trained with health manager Bruno Boussagol before kicking balls and running a few sprints.

The 26-year-old has been ruled out of Les Bleus' final Pool A game against Italy on Friday but the French camp believes he has a chance to be ready for their last-eight game, likely against South Africa on Oct. 15.

French federation president Florian Grill said the decision would be made by surgeon Frederic Lauwers.

"I'm not going to decide and it is not even Antoine who is going to decide," Grill told French radio RMC on Sunday.

"It's important that we proceed like this because what matters is the players' health. So the surgeon will have the last word and we will listen to him carefully."

Maxime Lucu looks set to start at scrumhalf alongside his Bordeaux club partner Matthieu Jalibert at flyhalf after playing with the top players in both training sessions on Sunday.

Winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey could also start against the Azzurrri.

A win would send France through as Pool A winners.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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