France have gained a significant boost after their Six Nations clash against Scotland has been clouded in doubt by a Covid-19 outbreak in the Les Bleus camp.
24 hours on from when Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) announced an additional five players – Charles Ollivon, forwards Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, and Romain Taofifenua, and full-back Brice Dulin – had tested positive, the body revealed on Tuesday morning that the latest screening had returned no further cases.
Six Nations organisers will await the results on Wednesday’s testing before deciding on whether the game will go ahead.
What started as an outbreak within France’s coaching team members – head coach Fabien Galthie, forwards coach Williams Servat and an unnamed staff member – was seemingly transmitted into the playing squad with Antoine Dupont the first to test positive.
France now have ten cases to deal with amongst their playing squad, who have been unable to resume training since Galthie’s positive test.
A social media post by the French federation stated: “Update on the health situation. Following PCR tests carried out last night [Monday], all players and management tested negative for Covid-19. These results relate to management and players who had not tested positive.”
Gaetan Balot, Thierry Paiva, Cyril Cazeaux, Baptiste Pesenti and Thomas Ramos had all been called into a new-look 31-man France squad to help combat the loss of players who have tested positive.
A Six Nations statement on Monday read: “A meeting of the Six Nations testing oversight group (TOG) took place today [Monday] to review the situation in France in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak in the French team.
“The TOG was advised by the French Rugby Union representative that all players who returned to the National Training Centre yesterday [Sunday] were tested on arrival and put in isolation pending results. All five players who tested positive have now left the training base.
“The rest of the squad, all of whom tested negative, are training with restricted movement and no close contact for the next 48 hours. All players and staff will be tested every 24 hours. The TOG will reconvene on Wednesday evening to review the situation.
“A decision on whether the France vs Scotland fixture can go ahead will be made at that stage. Ensuring the health and safety of all players and staff is our number one priority. Should the decision be that the fixture cannot go ahead, the match will be rescheduled for the earliest possible date. Six Nations would like to wish all affected players, coaches, and support team a speedy recovery.”