Efforts by Stade Francais to pick up their stalled preparations for the new 2020/21 Top 14 season have been further delayed due to the severity of the coronavirus cases affected players at the French club.

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It was August 6 when the Parisians initially revealed they had an issue with the virus at the club. Subsequent claims that half of the squad had contracted coronavirus were refuted by general manager Thomas Lombard, but the issue doesn’t appear to be going away anytime quickly.  

Having reported on August 10 that all players and sports staff were in solitary confinement until at least August 17, their situation continues to be problematic and an August 27 friendly versus Toulon has fallen by the wayside similar to the cancellation of another warm-up game versus Brive. 

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Former Top 14 regular Jamie Cudmore guests on The Lockdown, the RugbyPass pandemic interview series

A statement from the club on Wednesday read: “In light of the mandatory medical examinations for all players who have tested positive for the Covid-19 RT-PCR test, it appears that some of them are carriers of lung damage due to the virus.

“These lesions require a period of complete rest estimated for the moment at a minimum of one week and which will be added to the fourteen already observed. Other reviews are currently underway.

“In addition, for obvious health reasons, this has led to the cancellation of the friendly match against RC Toulon scheduled for August 27. Once again, the club would like to thank all those who have shown their support during these last days.”

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Numerous Top 14 clubs have had outbreaks of the virus affect them but none on as wide a scale as the trauma that Stade Francais are going through ahead of the new season. 

The cancellation of the friendly against Toulon means they will arrive in cold for their league opener on Friday, September 4, at home to Bordeaux. 

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