Six Nations 2021: Ollivon among five further France COVID cases, Scotland clash in major doubt

By Russell Greaves 23 February 2021 19
Six Nations 2021: Ollivon among five further France COVID cases, Scotland clash in major doubt

Captain Charles Ollivon is among five further France players to have tested positive for coronavirus as Sunday's clash with Scotland comes under increasing doubt.

The latest round of testing took the total number of positives up to 14 as Ollivon was joined by Brice Dulin, Cyril Baille, Romain Taofifenua and Peato Mauvaka.

It was only on Sunday that Julien Marchand and Arthur Vincent were found to have contracted the virus, with the first reported case coming last Tuesday.

Prop Mohamed Haouas, wing Gabin Villiere and scrum-half Antoine Dupont are in the same boat, along with head coach Fabien Galthie, assistant Karim Ghezal, forwards coach William Servat and an unnamed member of the support staff.

Les Bleus, who top the table after wins over Italy and Ireland, revealed five more players had been called up on Monday for a game in Paris that may well have to be postponed.

Uncapped trio Gaetan Barlot, Thierry Paiva and Cyril Cazeaux have been drafted in, with Baptiste Pesenti and Thomas Ramos also getting the call.

A statement from the French Rugby Federation said the intention is to return to group training on Wednesday, though further testing would take place every day.

The Six Nations Testing Oversight Group (TOG) met on Monday to discuss the situation and will decide on Wednesday whether the Ireland clash can go ahead as scheduled.

A Six Nations statement said: "The TOG was advised by the French Rugby Union representative that all players who returned to the National Training Centre yesterday 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 24 February in the evening to review the situation. A decision on whether the France v 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."

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