France's Gabrillagues could miss World Cup with ban

France lock Paul Gabrillagues is likely to miss the upcoming World Cup after receiving a six-week suspension from World Rugby. Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

France lock Paul Gabrillagues could miss the Rugby World Cup after he was handed a six-week suspension for foul play in their warmup match against Scotland last weekend.

World Rugby found Gabrillagues, 26, guilty of a head-first challenge on Scotland's John Barclay during their 32-3 win over the visitors in Nice on Saturday and the Frenchman accepted that it was a dangerous foul worthy of a red card.

France name their World Cup squad on Sept. 2 and Gabrillagues is likely to miss out as the ban rules him out of contention until Oct. 6. He would miss France's first three matches against Argentina, the U.S. and Tonga.

"The disciplinary committee, having considered the evidence and the submissions, deemed that the foul play was intentional," World Rugby said in a statement.

"The offence took place at considerable pace and with considerable force to the opposition's head such that the player sustained an injury.

"The committee determined that the act merited a top-end entry point which according to World Rugby's Sanctions Table carries a minimum 10-week suspension."

The 10-week suspension was reduced by 40% as Gabrillagues admitted his guilt and issued an apology, with World rugby noting his "expression of remorse to his opponent and his good conduct at the hearing".

Gabrillagues has 48 hours to appeal the decision. France begin their World Cup Pool C campaign against Argentina on Sept. 21.