More French Covid positives but Scotland game set to go ahead
PARIS - Five more France rugby players have tested positive for Covid bringing the number of infected players to 10, but their Six Nations game against Scotland on Sunday is expected to go ahead unless there is a further surge in positive cases.
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) said on Monday that Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Romain Taofifenua, Charles Ollivon and Brice Dulin had returned positive tests on Sunday. Two members of staff are also thought to have contracted the virus.
Centre Arthur Vincent, hooker Julien Marchand, winger Gabin Villiere, prop Mohamed Haouas and scrumhalf Antoine Dupont tested positive last week, along with coach Fabien Galthie and three other staff members. French Government rules issued last week state that anyone testing positive must self-isolate for 10 days.
The players who tested positive have been replaced in the 31-man squad which is due to return to training on Wednesday, the FFR said.
Six Nations officials said over the weekend they were confident the game in Paris would go ahead. At the tournament launch last month they said they would seek space in the calendar for postponements rather than cancellations in the case of Covid-19 impact.
France lead the standings with two wins from two games, ahead of Wales on points difference, as they seek to lift the Six Nations title for the first time since 2010.
Such is the depth of the squad that they should still be able to put out a strong side in Paris, where they have not lost to the Scots for 22 years.
Due to an availability conflict with their clubs, France fielded a virtual third team in last year's Autumn Nations Cup final against England and came within seconds of victory before losing to a sudden-death penalty in extra-time.