Leo Coly joined French Top 14 champions Montpellier this season

Capbreton (France) (AFP) - Scrum-half Leo Coly is set to miss the opening two games of France’s Six Nations defence after suffering a thigh injury in training, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) said on Wednesday.

Montpellier’s Coly was expected to be a back-up to captain Antoine Dupont for France’s tournament opener in Italy on February 5.

The uncapped 23-year-old will be out for at least a month and will also be unavailable for the match against Ireland in Dublin on February 11.

He could return against Scotland on February 26 in Paris.

Racing 92’s Nolann Le Garrec is the other scrum-half in Fabien Galthie’s set-up with regulars Maxime Lucu and Baptiste Couilloud already sidelined.

In other injury news for Galthie, tight-head prop Uini Atonio sat out training on Wednesday for a second straight day with a knee problem.

According to an agreement between the FFR and the French league, Galthie will release 14 of his 42-man squad back to their clubs later on Wednesday.

Galthie, who will lead hosts France at this year’s Rugby World Cup, is set to name his matchday squad for the Italy game on February 3.