MARCOUSSIS, France: France and Scotland will on Wednesday (Feb 24) learn the fate of their Six Nations match scheduled for this weekend following a COVID-19 outbreak in the French squad.
The Six Nations testing oversight group reviewed the outbreak on Monday, which has revealed positive tests by 10 players and three staff members. The group said it will reconvene on Wednesday to decide whether the match will go ahead on Sunday in Paris. If not, it will likely be postponed for a week.
Scotland warned later on Monday that a delay could affect the availability of its own players.
“Any postponement will have an impact on the player release agreement in place with clubs, which could see more than 10 Scotland players unavailable for selection if the game is rearranged,” the Scottish Rugby Union posted on Twitter.
“We will be working closely with our Six Nations counterparts to press the case for this week’s game to go ahead, should it be medically safe to do so.”
From tests on Sunday, five players were positive for the virus: Captain Charles Ollivon, forwards Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka and Romain Taofifenua, and fullback Brice Dulin.
They joined star scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, props Julien Marchand and Mohammed Haouas, centre Arthur Vincent and winger Gabin Villiere in seven-day isolation.
All 10 have left the team’s base in Marcoussis and are out of the match on Sunday, massively depleting coach Fabien Galthie’s options as Les Tricolores go for a third straight win to open the competition.
Two other squad players – lock Swann Rebbadj and prop Jean-Baptiste Gros – were left at home after being considered to have been in contact with two team-mates from club side Toulon who tested positive.
Galthie also has tested positive, along with assistant William Servat and line-out coach Karim Ghezal.
“The rest of the squad, all of whom tested negative, are training with restricted movement and no close contact for the next 48 hours. All players and staff will be tested every 24 hours,” the testing oversight group said.
Five players have been added ahead of the team’s scheduled return to training on Wednesday, the French Rugby Federation said.
France leads the Six Nations after road wins over Italy and Ireland.
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