France reports no new COVID cases

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The game, which had been scheduled for Monday (AEDT) at Stade de France in Paris, will be rescheduled after a 12th Les Bleus player contracted COVID-19.

There have been a total of 16 positive tests in the France camp since the team returned from beating Ireland in Dublin on 15 February (AEDT).

A French Rugby Federation (FFR) statement read: "After tests taken on Thursday [Friday AEDT] all the results were negative.

"Apart from the previously identified cases, there are therefore no new positive COVID-19 cases."

Tournament organisers announced on Friday (AEDT) that a new date for the game would be announced "in due course" after having stated the previous day that it would go ahead.

Squad training had already been cancelled and the entire France group placed in isolation.

The championship leader, chasing a first title since 2010, was due to face Scotland without more than half the XV that had seen off Italy 50-10 in Rome and edged past Ireland 15-13.

Among those testing positive were star scrum half Antoine Dupont, captain Charles Ollivon and coach Fabien Galthie.

The 16th case was identified as La Rochelle prop Uini Atonio, the 12th player to contract the disease.

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has demanded FFR president Bernard Laporte launch an investigation into the outbreak in Galthie's squad.

Infectious disease specialist Eric Caumes, who is a member of the medical commission of the FFR, said that the virus probably entered the France team bubble through a member of the national sevens team. 

"We know that, in the France sevens team, there is a player who tested positive and that the contact was probably made like that," he said, adding that it would not "compromise" the rest of the Six Nations.

"From the moment a person enters the bubble and is contagious, all the conditions are met for contamination to occur easily. 

"They followed the protocol to the letter. The protocol does not impose a quarantine before entering the bubble because it is impossible and incompatible with the clubs and their obligations."

This weekend's other fixtures – Italy v Ireland and Wales v England – are to go ahead as planned.

France is scheduled to travel to England for a match on 14 March (AEDT), with Wales visiting Paris a week later.


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