Toulouse's Australian lock Emmanuel Meafou (C)

Paris (AFP) - Toulouse’s Australian lock Emmanuel Meafou will not be eligible to represent France before the end of 2023, meaning he will miss out on the Rugby World Cup, World Rugby confirmed Sunday.

The French rugby union federation had asked the sport’s governing body that Meafou be given clearance to play for Les Bleus at the September 8-October 28 World Cup in France.

But the lock, born in New Zealand to Samoan parents who moved to Australia when he was two, fails to meet residency criteria upped to five years from three by World Rugby in 2022.

Meafou, 24, touched down in Toulouse in December 2018, meaning he would only be eligible from the 2024 Six Nations Championship.

The giant second-row forward, standing 2.03m (6ft 7in) tall and weighing in at 145kg (23st), was not part of the initial 42-strong World Cup squad called up by France coach Fabien Galthie.

But Galthie had hoped to be able to add Meafou, who has committed his future to France, ahead of the World Cup.