Tested positive for Covid, Antoine Dupont is forfeited for the 3rd day of the VI Nations Tournament. – FRANCK FIFE / AFP

In what state will the XV of France be presented next Sunday at the Stade de France? Will she be allowed to do so, for that matter? As could be feared, this weekend saw cases of Covid-19 contamination multiply within the France group. After Antoine Dupont on Friday, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Arthur Vincent and Gabin Villière have also tested positive. These five players, who started with the victory in Ireland, must already withdraw from the upcoming match.

This brings the number of cases among the Blues to nine, including the members of the staff (Fabien Galthié, Karim Ghezal, William Servat and a fourth person, whose identity has not been made public). But other tests took place on Sunday when the players returned to Marcoussis and their results, probably Monday morning, are anxiously awaited. In the process, the Organizing Committee of the Six Nations must meet to discuss this worrying health situation.

A flaw in the protocol?

The latter can decide to cancel the match and give the victory to Scotland, to postpone it or to have it play as planned, with a largely reshaped France group. This is for the moment the option prepared by the staff, who communicated on Sunday a new group of 31. Seven players make their entry: Dorian Aldegheri, Teddy Baubigny, Hassane Kolingar, Maxime Lucu Jonathan Danty, Yoram Moefana and Donovan Taofifenua .

Meanwhile, the Federation is still trying to see more clearly on how the coronavirus entered the blue bubble. In a press release sent on Saturday, the FFR ensures that the track of the two training sessions with the French rugby sevens team [au sein de laquelle un cluster s’est déclaré quelques jours après], the week before the game in Ireland, does not seem to lead to anything.

“In view of the current investigations, the hypothesis of contamination of the XV of France by a player of France 7 is uncertain and is not proven,” she wrote. If France did indeed follow the protocol put in place by the Tournament Committee to the letter, then there was a flaw somewhere. A flaw that will have to be brought to light.


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