Any doubt over England’s Guinness Six Nations clash with France taking place as scheduled on March 13 has faded after the findings of Les Bleus’ investigation into their coronavirus outbreak were approved by the French government.
A meeting on Friday morning between French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and sports minister Roxana Maracineanu resulted in the championship favourites being given the green light to continue playing in a season where away wins over Italy and Ireland were followed by the postponement of their home game with Scotland.
Maracineanu had threatened to withdraw France because of the outbreak which saw twelve players and four backroom staff, including head coach Fabien Galthie, test positive for Covid-19, forcing the postponement of last Sunday’s round three Stade de France match against the Scots.
It emerged that Galthie had left the squad’s bubble on the opening weekend to watch his son play rugby in Paris, while members of the squad also went out to eat waffles when in Rome to play Italy. However, France have been cleared of any wrongdoing with Blanquer describing the coronavirus safety measures in place as “well developed”, although he added that “you can never be too vigilant”.
In response to the last point, Laporte has stated “now, no more leaving the hotel. It’s belt and braces”. France face England at Twickenham on Saturday week, fellow Grand Slam chasers Wales in Paris on March 20 with their home showdown against Scotland set to be rearranged for March 26.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 4, 2021
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