It can only be imagined what the French government thought when news emerged yesterday that members of the Rugby team management had returned from Dublin and tested positive for Covid-19.

Head Coach Fabien Galthie is to be retested after his own test proved inconclusive but members of the team are now isolating in the south of France as a precaution.

The Government only gave formal permission to the team to travel to play matches in Ireland and Britain in the days before the tournament started due to concern over the prevalence of strains of the virus and the experience of Bayonne who were impacted badly after a trip to England in December, that eventually led to the cancelling of the last two rounds in the Heineken Champions League.

This positive test could hardly have come at a more unfortunate time, through with two wins already secured, it is likely that public pressure will keep France playing to schedule in the tournament.

France will now prepare to play Scotland in ten day’s time while Ireland’s next game is away to Italy.

All of the Irish players and management tested negative after Sunday’s defeat and twelve players have now been released back to clubs to play in Guinness PRO14 matches this coming weekend.

“All members of the Ireland squad and backroom team undertook routine PCR testing on Monday producing no positive results,” said a statement from the IRFU.

“The group will undergo further routine testing again this week as per our protocols.”


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