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Shaun Edwards didn't fly to Japan with France on Wednesday night

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

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Assistant coach Shaun Edwards was prevented from flying to Japan with France on Wednesday evening for their upcoming two-Test tour in the Far East. The defence coaching specialist was one of four people – two staff members and two players – who were instead placed in isolation after it was confirmed that they had tested positive for covid. Another player was ruled out from travelling due to injury.


Edwards had spent the whole of last week working in London with France coach Fabien Galthie. The pair were a pivotal part of the comprehensive win secured by the Barbarians over an out-classed England at Twickenham on Sunday, but they have now gone their separate ways with the French squad flying out without Edwards for its two matches, starting on July 2.

A French rugby federation statement read: “Laurent Labit, Shaun Edwards, Max Spring and Aymeric Luc tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, they were put in solitary confinement.

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“The FFR medical committee immediately contacted the Japanese federation to inform them and define the course of action to take so that the tour takes place in the best possible conditions. The people concerned will join the France group when their medical condition allows it.

“Injured in the thigh, Dorian Aldegheri (eight caps, 28, Stade Toulousain) has forfeited for the summer tour in Japan.”


Attack coach Labit also worked with the Barbarians last week, while the uncapped Spring started at full-back in the victory by an XV that had 14 players from the Top 14 selected along with ex-England lock George Kruis. The isolated four will be able to join the tour in Japan when they present a negative test, with Spring and Luc hoping to earn Test debuts at the back-end of a season where France won their first Guinness Six Nations title since 2010.


With two players in isolation and another out injured, it left head coach Galthie heading to Japan with a group of 39 players.


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