Six Nations

French rugby chief Laporte to appear before ministers in Covid probe

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French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte. (Photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP)
French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte. (Photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP)

French rugby chief Bernard Laporte is to appear before Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu on Friday as part of a probe into a Covid-19 outbreak among France's Six Nations squad.

Talks will revolve around "the examination of the conclusions of the internal investigation carried out by the French rugby federation on the numerous cases of Covid-19 contamination within the France team" and "will follow a technical meeting on this issue on Thursday", a government statement read.

France coach Fabien Galthie has found himself in the spotlight after it was revealed the former scrum-half left the Six Nations secure bubble to watch his son play a game. The federation has given him their full backing.

Galthie was one of 16 members of the France squad, including 12 players, to have tested positive for coronavirus. The outbreak caused the postponement of the scheduled Six Nations clash against Scotland on the weekend.

Sports minister Maracineanu had asked the federation to launch an investigation into the Covid outbreak among the France squad.

Laporte, president of the French rugby federation, has confirmed that on the day after France defeated Italy 50-10 earlier this month, Galthie left the bio-secure bubble to watch his 19-year-old son Mathis play a match at Paris' Stade Jean-Bouin.

Laporte gave his full backing to Galthie, a former France captain, saying he had been wearing a mask and was outside, decreasing the risk of him infecting anyone.

And Roger Salamon, president of the French rugby federation's medical committee, told RTL radio on Wednesday that he had written in his report -- since sent to the sports minister -- that Galthie had "had the right" to leave the bubble and "that there was no particular risk".


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