Six Nations 2021: France suspend training after further positive case before Scotland game

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France have suspended training after another player tested positive for Covid-19 before Sunday’s Six Nations match against Scotland.

Competition organisers had announced on Wednesday that the match would go ahead as planned despite an outbreak that saw 10 French players contract the virus.

The French Rugby Federation says, as a result of the latest positive case, “the entire group is in isolation”.

It adds that it is in “close contact” with the Six Nations committee.

“Following the RT-PCR tests carried out this Wednesday, 24 February in the evening and the appearance of a positive case within the squad of players, the FFR medical committee met this morning and decided to suspend training,” it said in a statement.

The Test had been in doubt after France head coach Fabien Galthie tested positive, followed by 10 players and two members of staff, but subsequent rounds of testing revealed no further positive cases until Wednesday evening.

The Six Nations confirmed at that stage it planned to stage the match in Paris as scheduled.

“We continue to monitor the situation very closely and are in regular contact with both unions,” a statement read.

Gregor Townsend’s men sit fourth in the table, having followed their historic victory against England at Twickenham with a one-point home loss to Wales, while unbeaten France top the standings.

The hosts were already due to be without a slew of key players, including captain Charles Ollivon and star scrum-half Antoine Dupont, who were isolating.

Galthie has been involved in coaching sessions remotely while isolating and several players had been called up to replace those ruled out.

A postponement could leave Townsend without more than 10 members of his squad, who would have to return to their clubs in England and France due to World Rugby player release regulations.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson told BBC Scotland: “The hardest thing is just being able to plan properly. Things can change from one moment to the next.

“What we need to do is keep our players as safe as possible. It’s a very fragile moment trying to get these games away. Touch wood, we’re ready to go on Sunday.”


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