France v Scotland: five more French players test positive for Covid

Total number of diagnosed cases in playing squad is now 10, throwing into further doubt Sunday's match at the Stade de France

Charles Ollivon has tested positive for Covid. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Charles Ollivon has tested positive for Covid. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

FIVE more French players have tested positive for Covid, taking the total number of reported diagnoses in the playing squad to 10 and throwing into further doubt the prospect of Sunday’s Six Nations clash against Scotland in Paris going ahead as scheduled.

Loose-head prop Cyril Baille, hooker Peato Mauvaka, second-row Romain Taofifenua, flanker and captain Charles Ollivon and full-back Brice Dulin have joined scrum-half Antoine Dupont, tight-head prop Mohamed Haouas, winger Gabin Villière, centre Arthur Vincent and hooker Julien Marchand in testing positive.

Four members of the management team, including head coach Fabien Galthié and assistant coaches William Servat and Karim Ghezal, are also in isolation at the moment, having tested positive since the start of last week.


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Furthermore, a statement from Fédération Française de Rugby [FFR] this morning revealed that two more members of the management team are “considered to be a suspicious case”.

Plus, prop Jean-Baptiste Gros and second-row Swan Rebbadj have been identified as ‘case-contact’ within their club and were left out of the revised training squad which was announced yesterday.

Five players – Gaëtan Barlot, Thierry Paiva, Cyril Cazeaux, Baptiste Pesenti and Thomas Ramos – have been called into the French squad as cover, but the group will not train together until Wednesday, subject to the results of tests carried out every 24 hours.


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 2212 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

9 Comments

  1. The next weekend is not a recognised international weekend so Scotland would lose players playing in England and France.
    So, my money is on it being rescheduled for then!

  2. France put out an extremely competitive second team that should of beat England in the Autumn Nations final.

    Why can they not do that this time?

    14+ professional teams. against our 2. They have the talent that can come in and ‘should’ be beating us.

    Not sure how i would feel about postponing a week. Gives us less time to prepare for a crucial game against Ireland.

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  3. In the Autumn Nations Cup, the teams which were unable to raise a side or play safely due to Covid reasons automatically lost 28-0 with five points going to the other side. See Fiji…

    Buuuuutttt…they are talking now about “Wanting to protect the sporting integrity of the Six Nations as much as possible.”

    Translation? Game postponed to following weekend and France allowed to recover all in the interests of a sporting competition (tongue in cheek here).

    In other words they want France to battle it out with Wales or England for the title and for Scotland not to get the benefit of the bonus point win, and not to split the competition wide open.

    10 first pick players out. Second-string brought in who have been playing at club level. France being put to the sword by Scotland not as appetising as having a possible Grand Slam on the cards from 2 teams.

    Another example of the calibre of people who run our game. Utter madness and to be quite frank rather distasteful.

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    • Heaven forfend Grant! You suggesting commercial interests rather than sporting ones may be at play here? I’m shocked.

      • @Dom Ward. What disappoints me most is that they dont have an ounce of the so called “rugby values” they harp on about as the very fibre of the game…

  4. Looks like an ongoing outbreak – I guess there’s an incubation period between first contracting the virus and it being detectable by the tests? Hopefully it’s being contained and not passing to players’ families, the Ireland team etc.

    I think it would be sensible to postpone the Scotland game. If we were still on for the Grand Slam and the outbreak was in our squad, I doubt we’d be happy with forfeiting the match.

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  5. Madness to have proceeded with this 6N – all in the interests of filthy lucre. Players & squad staff are simply pawns in a much bigger game, one in which Scottish Rugby’s hopelessly conflicted chairman plays a central role, irrespective of which hat he wears.

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  6. So if they can’t field a team or if they suggest that they can’t in time, does that mean Scotland get the win bonus 5 points because the opposition doesn’t turn up?
    There is the possibility of playing the following weekend but that leaves the question over whether it is sensible to play with so many of the French players seemingly spreading the problem that may well spread to the Scottish camp.
    Surely if it is that bad then the fixture should be lost, tough luck but there you go, why should the Scottish team put themselves in that position of potential disadvantage?

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    • I don’t really like the idea of postponing a week S it isn’t clear we’d have access to our English based players. We’d also be disadvantaged for our following games as we’d have to play three games on the bounce.

      However, I can’t say getting a BP win by default would be satisfactory either. I want to watch my team play in the 6N and a win by default is meaningless.

      Postponing until autumn is the fairest and best solution I think.

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