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Highlights on Off The Ball


France-Scotland may have to wait until July, Galthié in firing line

The postponed Six Nations meeting of France and Scotland might not be played until July.  A fres...

The postponed Six Nations meeting of France and Scotland might not be played until July. 

A fresh coronavirus outbreak in the France camp saw Six Nations organisers pull the plug on Sunday's game in Rome, barely 24-hours after giving it the go-ahead.

RMC Sport claim that the newly-infected player is La Rochelle prop Uini Antonio.

He's the twelfth French player to contract COVID-19 since the win over Ireland in Dublin almost a fortnight ago.

Captain Charles Ollivon, Antoine Dupont, Brice Dulin, Gabin Villière, Mohamed Haouas, Julien Marchand, Arthur Vincent, Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Romain Taofifenua and Baptise Pesenti are the others.

A date for the rearranged Scotland fixture is yet to be decided, but it's Scotland and not Les Bleus who may provide a roadblock.

Le Figaro in France say that March 6 or 7 is the preferred date of Six Nations organisers.

However, Scotland have previously warned about player eligibility issues. Earlier this week, Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) warned that postponing the France game could mean up to ten players would be unavailable due to existing agreements with clubs.

It's reported that the Six Nations Committee will be left with no option but to postpone the game until Saturday July 3.

Such a decision would wreak havoc with the tournament complexion, which had been building to a potential Grand Slam showdown between France and Wales in Paris on March 20.

Meanwhile, France's Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu is seeking an internal investigation into the coronavirus outbreak in the squad.

Her Ministry had fought hard for extra COVID-19 protocols to be put in place before committing to French involvement in the tournament.

The person some believe to have first broken their secure bubble i

s none other than head coach Fabien Galthié.

He was the first member of their coaching staff to test positive for COVID-19, closely followed by William Servat.

Galthié denied the claims of L'Equipe, saying, "I do not understand these unjustified accusations".

French Rugby vice-president claims that 'patient zero' was an unnamed physical trainer who had also been working with the similarly stricken France 7's squad.

Maracineanu has already been in contact with French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte, and says her Ministry is seeking, "understanding how the chain of contamination was formed within the French team and in the sanitary bubble set up by the FFR around the delegation, thus allowing essential feedback and  improvement of the protocols in force."

Farrell happy to rely on Sexton as long as captain retains appetite

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Fabien Galthie France Roxana Maracineanu Scotland Six Nations Uini Antonio