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Galthie confirmed as France camp's 'patient zero'

By Sam Smith
France head coach Fabien Galthie. (Photo by PA)

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Bernard Laporte has confirmed that Fabien Galthié left France’s Six Nations bubble before the camp was hit by a wave of Covid-19 cases. The France head coach is one of 16 members of the camp to have tested positive for Covid following their Six Nations win over Ireland in Dublin.

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As a result, the round three fixture between Scotland and France had to be postponed, leaving tournament organisers with the major headache of trying to rearrange the fixture in an already packed calendar.

And now French Rugby Federation president Laporte has confirmed that Galthié broke Covid protocols be leaving the France bubble to attend a game his son was playing in, the day after Les Bleus beat Italy in the opening round of the Six Nations.

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“For me, he has the right to leave from the moment he is masked. He was outside,” said Laporte.

“He watched the match alongside Thomas Lombard (director general of Stade Francais), who himself is tested every three days and also wore a mask.”

“I don’t see where the problem could be but then again I am not a doctor.”

Laporte said that despite the breach, Galthie’s job is not under threat.

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“Why wouldn’t I support him? I am not a prosecutor. And it’s not because I really like Fabian. He knows very well that I don’t give gifts to people.”

On Sunday, French rugby federation board of directors member Florian Grill on Sunday called for an independent investigation into the outbreak.

“The governance of French rugby had signed a protocol with the government, which is no small responsibility. We need to get to the truth of this, we need precision and transparency,” Grill said.

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