Hopes that next Sunday’s France vs Scotland Guinness Six Nations match in Paris will go ahead as scheduled were inflated on Tuesday morning after the French rugby federation reported the latest set of results on players remaining in their squad.
Ten players and staff, the most recent being captain Charles Ollivon, forwards Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, and Romain Taofifenua, and full-back Brice Dulin, has tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the Six Nations into a declaration that a decision on the status of the round thee Stade de France match would be taken on Wednesday, four days before the planned match.
However, the French have delivered much better news on Tuesday morning as the latest round of testing on those who are still in camp produced an all-clear, heightening the prospect that the outbreak is now under control and what remains of Fabien Galthie’s squad can now plan with confidence that they have a game to plan next Sunday.
A social media post by the French federation stated: “Update on the health situation. Following PCR tests carried out last night [Monday], all players and management tested negative for Covid-19. These results relate to management and players who had not tested positive.”
Gaetan Balot, Thierry Paiva, Cyril Cazeaux, Baptiste Pesenti and Thomas Ramos had all been called into a new-look 31-man France squad to help combat the loss of players who have tested positive while the Six Nations’ most recent statement on the situation on Monday read: “A meeting of the Six Nations testing oversight group (TOG) took place today [Monday] to review the situation in France in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak in the French team.
Ces résultats concernent les membres de l’encadrement et les joueurs qui n’avaient pas été testés positifs
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) February 23, 2021
“The TOG was advised by the French Rugby Union representative that all players who returned to the National Training Centre yesterday [Sunday] were tested on arrival and put in isolation pending results. All five players who tested positive have now left the training base.
“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 TOG will reconvene on Wednesday evening to review the situation.
“A decision on whether the France vs Scotland fixture can go ahead will be made at that stage. Ensuring the health and safety of all players and staff is our number one priority. Should the decision be that the fixture cannot go ahead, the match will be rescheduled for the earliest possible date. Six Nations would like to wish all affected players, coaches, and support team a speedy recovery.”
BREAKING: Sunday's game is in danger of being postponed.https://t.co/1YMfm8phaR
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 22, 2021
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