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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

21.26 22 Feb 2021


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French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu has met with French Rugby president Bernard Laporte as the COVID-19 outbreak in the France camp grows.

On Monday evening Pau forward Baptiste Pesenti became the eleventh France player to test positive for coronavirus.

Pesenti's case brings the total number of French positives to fifteen, with eleven of those among the players and the balance in the coaching staff. He tested positive at his club, and had not yet rejoined the French squad.

Six Nations organisers will decide on Wednesday whether Sunday's meeting of France and Scotland at the Stade de France can go ahead.

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) said on Monday night that they hope the game with France can go ahead as planned on Sunday.

The SRU say a postponement "could see more than 10 Scotland players unavailable for selection if the game is rearranged".

Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu had sought stringent protocols be put in place by other unions before green-lighting France's involvement in this year's competition.

Ironically, France have been hardest hit by the virus so far.

In a conversation with Bernard Laporte on Monday, Maracineanu asked if the FFR were adhering to the relevant health protocols.

The Minister has asked for regular updates from the France camp, including a daily report on the results of the tests passed by the players and coaching staff every evening.

French Rugby Federation (FFR) vice-president Serge Simon told FranceInfo on Monday night that they will not be seeking the postponement of Sunday's game.

Simon said, "Everything is under serological and virological control with the France squad, whose Sunday tests all returned negative."

He said the positive tests of captain Charles Ollivon, prop Cyrille Baille, fullback Brice Dulin, Peato Mauvaka and Romain Taofifenua all occurred - like that of Pesenti - outside of their training bubble.

The group were due to be tested again on Monday night, with a further round of testing to take place on Tuesday.

"We will be ready to play on Sunday whatever happens, with a healthy team," Simon said defiantly.

For more of these stories, visit otbsports.com.

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Bernard Laporte Charles Ollivon Coronavirus Covid-19 France Roxana Maracineanu Scotland Serge Simon

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