Paris (AFP) - France's hopes of a successful Six Nations tournament suffered a major blow on Sunday as it was announced by his Top 14 club Toulouse that captain Thierry Dusautoir had been ruled out of the tournament.
The 32-year-old flanker -- capped 65 times and world player of the year in 2011 -- will be out for four months after he tore a tendon in his right biceps, Toulouse head coach Guy Noves told AFP.
France finished bottom of the Six Nations last year and start their campaign this term at home to England in a fortnight.
The 30-man squad met up for a training camp at Canet-en-Roussillon, near Perpignan, later on Sunday.
There was further bad news for France as they will also be missing Perpignan wing Sofiane Guitoune, who had to go off in the 61st minute of Sunday's 36-18 European Cup defeat by Gloucester in France.
The 24-year-old Algeria-born back, scorer of one try in his two Test matches, suffered a serious Achilles tendon injury.
"Guitoune has suffered a partial or total rupture of the Achilles tendon and will undergo an operation on Monday," said Perpignan manager Marc Delpoux.
Dusautoir, who Noves said will undergo an operation on Tuesday or Wednesday, suffered the injury in four-time European Cup champions Toulouse's final pool match of this season's competition on Saturday, the 16-6 away win over Italian side Zebre.
"We feared it was a serious injury," said Noves.
"We hoped that the scans wouldn't confirm the original diagnosis.
"His injury adds to a growing list of serious injuries to key players.
"That makes it five to six players of the highest quality that we have lost," added Noves, referring to injuries to former All Black fly-half Luke McAlister, French international centre Florian Fritz and utility scrummager Gregory Lamboley.
Squad of 30 players:
Forwards (16): Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-MÃ©tro), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Rabah Slimani (Stade FranÃ§ais), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade FranÃ§ais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal PapÃ© (Stade FranÃ§ais), SÃ©bastien Vahaamahina (Perpignan), Virgile Bruni (Toulon), Antoine Burban (Stade FranÃ§ais), Bernard Le Roux (Racing-MÃ©tro), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)
Backs (14): Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing-MÃ©tro), Jules Plisson (Stade FranÃ§ais), RÃ©mi TalÃ¨s (Castres), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), GaÃ«l Fickou (Toulouse), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime MÃ©dard (Toulouse), Jean-Marcellin Buttin (Clermont) Geoffrey Palis (Castres), Hugo Bonneval (Stade FranÃ§ais), Brice Dulin (Castres)