(Reuters) – France coach Jacques Brunel has said his decision to send injured fullback Thomas Ramos home from the Rugby World Cup in Japan was the “best solution” for the squad, even though he was fit enough to play for his club Toulouse this weekend.
Ramos suffered an ankle injury in France’s 33-9 Pool C victory against the United States on Oct. 2, two days before the French federation replaced him with Vincent Rattez for the remainder of the tournament.
But on Saturday, Ramos played a full match as Toulouse recorded a 36-15 win over Castres.
“An examination was carried out, scans were done – they were the same here as at Toulouse – and it was estimated he would be able to play in 10 days,” Brunel told a news conference on Sunday. “But it could have been nine or 11 days, who knows?
“It was up to me to make a choice – change the player or not. I made that decision and it’s my responsibility. I thought it was the best solution for the French team.”
Brunel said he could not have waited any longer to bring in La Rochelle fullback Rattez as replacement.
“I didn’t take the decision to send him back lightly. He’s our fullback and one of the best kickers in France,” the coach added.
“I take responsibility. I don’t know if someone else would have done things differently.”
Three-time runners-up France, who finished second in Pool C behind England, next face Wales in the quarter-finals in Oita on Oct. 20.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)