Six Nations give France v Scotland the go ahead after negative Covid tests

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France v Scotland in the Six Nations will go ahead on Sunday at the Stade de France., © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Andy Newport, PA

Scotland’s Six Nations clash with France on Sunday will go ahead as planned in Paris, tournament organisers have announced.

The Stade de France showdown had been thrown into major doubt following a Covid-19 outbreak in Les Bleus squad.

But after a fresh round of negative test results, France have now been given the go ahead to host Gregor Townsend’s squad.

The Six Nations said in a statement: “Further to a meeting of the Six Nations Testing Oversight Group (TOG) this morning to review the latest tests results of the French Squad, the Six Nations confirm the plans to stage the France v Scotland match as originally scheduled this coming Sunday.

“We continue to monitor the situation very closely and are in regular contact with both unions.”

The news will come as a relief to the Scottish Rugby Union, who feared they would be forced to do without 10 of Townsend’s top stars if the game was postponed until next week.

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France’s outbreak has forced a number of their top stars into quarantine, including star scrum-half and 2020 player of the championship Antoine Dupont and captain Charles Ollivon.

Antoine Dupont was among those to test positive (Brian Lawless/PA)

But The French Rugby Federation confirmed the latest round of tests has returned no further positive cases.

The FFR said in a statement: “Following the RT-PCR tests carried out yesterday, Tuesday February 23, no new positive cases for Covid-19 have been identified.

“Tests will continue to be carried out daily until the France-Scotland meeting this Sunday.”

France top the Six Nations table after two rounds following a comprehensive win over Italy and a narrow victory against Ireland, both away from home.

But this weekend’s clash was placed under threat when flanker Ollivon, prop Cyril Baille, hooker Peato Mauvaka, lock Romain Taofifenua and full-back Brice Dulin became the latest members of Fabien Galthie ‘s squad to test positive.

Nine of the 23-man squad that sent Ireland spinning to a 15-13 defeat have since been found to have contracted the virus.

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After the victory in Dublin, the French Rugby Federation released footage on social media of the team celebrating in the changing room.

In addition to the positive tests produced by players on Monday, head coach Galthie is one of several members of France’s management team to be self-isolating.

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