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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

18.09 3 Mar 2021


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France head coach Fabien Galthié has been exonerated by a French Rugby Federation (FFR) report into their COVID-19 outbreak. 

Galthié was one of more than a dozen individuals within the French camp to test positive for coronavirus after their 15-13 victory over Ireland in Dublin.

Twelve players were infected, leading to the postponement of their game with Scotland.

Fingers had been pointed at Galthié, with rumours he'd left the team's secure 'bubble' proved to be true. The 51-year old had gone to watch his son play for the Colomiers Espoirs against Stade Francais.

With the French Sports Ministry hovering, an internal FFR report into the matter was commissioned.

"He's not patient zero, that's virologically obvious," chief of the FFR's medical commission, Roger Salamon told RTL, "Judging by distance he went to see his son, and the distance from the first cases.

"I'm not saying this to defend him, he doesn't need to be defended, but I'm saying that because it's the truth."

'Patient zero' is instead believed to be a France 7's player who had been training with the 15's squad at their base in Marcoussis.

"In my report, Salamon said, "I put it at the beginning, it is perfectly clear that what he did.

"Whatever one might think, he had the right to do it and there was no particular risk."

Professor Eric Caumes, who helped draft the report, told RMC Sport, "The sanitary protocol was respected and the conditions of entry and exit in the bubble were also respected.

"Unfortunately, the bubble is not infallible.

"Being tested negative before entering the bubble is not a guarantee of 100 per cent efficiency, as we have seen during this episode with the France team, but also in other circumstances and other sports. I

"If you want to have a health bubble as tight as possible, there is no other possibility than to enforce a quarantine of fourteen days before entering it."

Caumes went so far as to say the report itself was futile, "I even wonder why this report was carried out.

"There was no investigation to find out how Emmanuel Macron contracted COVID-19.

"This is one of the infallible things, very difficult to control.

"It will serve as a lesson. If you want a completely sealed bubble, you have to impose a quarantine of 14-days before entering it and once you are there you don't leave.

"But again, this is only possible for short-term competitions, it is not playable for long-term competitions."

Classic Fergie rants, Big Mick and Pep, the Irish attack, GAA debates, meet the Irish kitman


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Bernard Laporte Coronavirus Covid-19 Fabien Galthie Ffr France French Rugby Federation Scotland Serge Simon Six Nations

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