France reveal captain Charles Ollivon is among five fresh coronavirus cases ahead of their Six Nations clash with Scotland, taking total absentees to EIGHT after outbreak within the squad
- France squad is being decimated by coronavirus ahead of Scotland showdown
- Les Bleus have announced five more players tested positive for Covid-19
- Fabian Galthie, Antoine Dupont, Gabin Villiere, Mohamed Haouas and William Servat had all already returned positive tests before Sunday’s round
- Now Charles Ollivon, Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Romain Taofifenua and Brice Dulan have also tested positive and must isolate
The France squad continues to be decimated by Covid-19 with five more players returning positives for the illness after Sunday’s latest round of tests.
Captain Charles Ollivon and star fullback Brice Dulan will be out of action for the Scotland showdown at the weekend, as will prop Cyril Baille, hooker Peato Mauvaka and lock Romain Taofifenua.
The outbreak in the group last week saw French coach Fabian and world class scrum half Antoine Dupont among the others forced into isolation.
Charles Ollivon is among the players to have returned a positive coronavirus test
In-form fullback Brice Dulin is another of the latest group to be forced into isolation
Two of the support staff are also thought to be probable cases.
Now there are serious question marks about the team’s ability to maintain their perfect record and stay on course for a Grand Slam.
They host Scotland on Sunday in what promised to be a blockbuster encounter against Gregor Townsend’s men.
Lock Romain Taofifenua (middle), will be missing the game against Scotland too
A statement on the FFR website read: ‘Following RT-PCR tests carried out on Sunday February 21, five new players tested positive for Covid-19, leading to the selection of five new players to prepare for the match against Scotland.
‘Following the RT-PCR tests carried out on Sunday February 21, Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Romain Taofifenua, Charles Ollivon, and Brice Dulin have tested positive for Covid-19.
‘Two members of the management are considered to be a suspicious case. With a view to isolation, the return home of the players and members of the management concerned is underway.
‘Gaëtan Barlot, Thierry Paiva, Cyril Cazeaux, Baptiste Pesenti and Thomas Ramos are selected to join the France group this Monday February 22.’
On Saturday it had been revealed wing Gabin Villiere and prop Mohamed Haouas also have the illness following on from Antoine Dupont’s positive test on Friday.
Head coach Fabian Galthie and forwards coach William Servat had tested positive earlier last week.
Health minister Olivier Veran announced on Thursday that anyone testing positive for COVID-19 would need to isolate for 10 days, instead of seven previously, as France looks to contain the emergence of a variant that first appeared in Britain.
Consequently, all those cases in the squad will have to miss the Scotland game.
The FFR has been investigating a possible contamination from the rugby sevens team, who had been taking part in training sessions.
However, they have concluded that it could not be proven yet that they were the source of the contamination.