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Eight players axed by Brunel after headline-grabbing night out in Edinburgh

By Adam Ellis

France head coach Jacques Brunel has dropped eight players from his squad to play Italy in the Six Nations next Friday after some players were quizzed by police before the flight home.

After losing 36-28 to Scotland at Murrayfield, members of the squad were at Edinburgh Airport waiting to board the plane but held back by police investigating allegations of sexual assault.

All players questioned were released without charge but their night out on the town after the defeat has cost them a place in Brunel’s 31-man training squad to prepare for the Italy Test.

It is reported Louis Picamoles, Anthony Belleau, Jonathan Danty, Remi Lamerat, and Felix Lambey were all questioned while Alexandre Lapandry, Arthur Iturria and winger Teddy Thomas complete the list of players dropped.

An FFR statement made on Tuesday confirmed: “Jacques Brunel has decided to exclude from that list the players who went out after the defeat in Scotland.

“By this inappropriate behaviour, they have disrespected their status as an international player and the duties that go with it.”

Mathieu Babillot, Mathieu Bastareaud, Gael Fickou, Kelian Galletier, Remy Grosso, Bernard le Roux, Romain Taofifenua, and Francois Trinh Duc are the new inclusions to Brunel’s squad, who still awaits his first win of the Six Nations this year after two rounds.

A statement released by Police Scotland ruled: “Following an initial report of sexual assault in Edinburgh city centre during the early hours of Monday, February 12, police conducted various lines of inquiry, including speaking to a number of potential witnesses. These inquiries have established no crime has been committed.”

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