France will be without Catalans Dragons' experienced forward Jamel Fakir for Saturday's international against England at Hull KR's Craven Park.
Fakir, who missed France's opening 20-6 win over Wales through suspension, travelled to Hull on Thursday afternoon as a member of their 20-man squad but has a hamstring injury and will be saved for the final, also against England, at Salford on November 11.
"Jamel will have a test tomorrow but I don't think he will be ready for the weekend and we won't take a risk with him," said coach Aurelien Cologni.
Fakir's Catalans team-mate Mickael Simon has recovered from the illness that forced him to sit out the Welsh game and he will help offset the absence of seasoned prop David Ferriol, who retired from Super League at the end of the 2012 season and opted out of the internationals in order to focus on his vineyard.
"It's a big loss but his decision has been made and players like Romaric Bemba and Mathieu Griffi, who play in the French competition, have an opportunity to show they can jump into the team and maybe get a chance for the World Cup," said Cologni.
Cologni and assistant coach Thierry Dumaine have four other players on standby in France in Julian Bousquet, Teddy Sadaoui, Sebastien Planas and Antoni Maria, although the latter is unlikely to be available because of injury.
The French set up camp in Hull and will move to Manchester on Sunday to prepare for the final.
Cologni said: "We want to have the best preparation for these two games.
"We know they will be very tough we so need to be in the best condition and have the best recovery, so that's why we are staying for 10 days."
France (from Catalans Dragons unless stated): C Stacul; M Pala, V Duport, K Larroyer, C Soubeyras (Pia); T Bosc, W Barthau; O Elima (capt), T Gigot (Avignon), R Casty, S Raguin, G Mounis, R Bemba (Carcassonne), J Baitieri, E Pelissier, M Griffi (Lezignan), M Simon, K Bentley (Lezignan), D Cardace.