Namibia skipper Deysel banned for six games for horror tackle on France's Dupont

By Paul Myers - RFI
France AP - Themba Hadebe
SEP 27, 2023 LISTEN
AP - Themba Hadebe

Namibia captain Johan Deysel was suspended for six games on Tuesday for the head-on-head tackle that injured the France skipper Antoine Dupont and left his World Cup hopes in the balance.

Dupont is recovering from surgery on a facial fracture.

He underwent the operation in Toulouse on Friday night just over 24 hours after Deysel ploughed into him as he passed the ball to France teammate Matthieu Jalibert.

Deysel was shown a yellow card for the tackle on the scrum-half in the opening minutes of the second-half at the Vélodrome in Marseille. The offence was upgraded to red while he was in the sin bin.

During his disciplinary review on Tuesday, the 32-year-old accepted his red card.

"The act of foul play was at the top end of the scale of seriousness of offending, having regard to the degree of recklessness involved in the offending, the vulnerability of the victim player and the significant injury to him,” said the hearing.

Deysel, who plays for the French second division outfit Colomiers, was initially slapped with a 12-match ban but it was halved due to his exemplary disciplinary record and also because he had apologised to Dupont.

Deysel has said he will attend World Rugby's 'tackle school', a programme that coaches better techniques in order to cut another game off the suspension.

The ban will start on Wednesday night - Namibia's final Group A game in Lyon against Uruguay.


Namibia boss Allister Coetzee named Tjiuee Uanivi as skipper for the match at the Groupama Stadium.

"Johan would have loved to be captaining the last game," added Coetzee.

"But I've got no doubt in my mind that Tijuee will do a great job. He's skippered the side four times before. He's part of the leadership group and an experienced player.

"I'd like to think that with the support of the other leaders, he will do an outstanding job for us too."

It is understood that doctors are trying to construct a face mask that would allow Dupont to resume action with France.

His side was leading Namibia 54-0 when he was injured and since his injury, the France boss Fabien Galthé has come under intense scrutiny for not withdrawing the 26-year-old star player with the game descending into a senseless show of superiority.

Following Dupont's withdrawal, France went on to score 42 more points to register a record 96-0 victory.