France full-back Maxime Medard out for nine months


France's RBS 6 Nations hopes have been rocked by the news that full-back Maxime Medard has been ruled out for up to nine months with a serious knee ligament injury.

Medard went off in the second half of Les Bleus' 23-17 victory over Scotland at the weekend and a subsequent scan revealed he had suffered damaged cruciate and anterior ligaments.

The 25-year-old Toulouse player said on his official Twitter account: "The operation is booked for Monday and my unavailability will be from six to nine months."

Medard scored a try in France's victory at Murrayfield and his absence for the remainder of the Six Nations and beyond is a significant blow to coach Philippe Saint-Andre's hopes of leading his troops to the Grand Slam.

Saint-Andre has turned to Medard's Toulouse team-mate Clement Poitrenaud to deputise at full-back for this weekend's rearranged clash with Ireland in Paris.