France Manager Raphael Ibanez Makes Huge Ireland Claim Following Outbreak In Squad


France team manager Raphael Ibanez has suggested the COVID-19 outbreak in their squad could be traced back to their trip to Ireland.

Fabien Galthie’s side have been hit with a total of 14 positive cases, with 10 of them coming from players, including the likes of Antoine Dupont and captain Charles Ollivon.

Les Blues are two from two in the championship so for but will now be without a number of key men for their round three clas with Scotland this weekend.

Six Nations officials are set to make a decision on Wednesday over whether the game will go ahead at the Stade de France as planned.

Speaking on French TV on Sunday night, Ibanez suggested the outbreak could perhaps be traced back to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium,

“It is not uniquely a French issue,” Ibanez said.

“The head coach of England [Eddie Jones] was affected by it, and others too. Nobody can know how this happened.

“Was it in Ireland? Why not through the media who were allowed in to watch training? It only takes one infected person for the contamination to take hold in others.

“What has happened only motivates us more to put on a great performance against Scotland.”

Ibanez also rubbished reports that France may be forced to withdraw from the championship.

“There [are] no concerns regarding our participation in the tournament,” he added.

“We do not want either coaching staff or players to be worried, that is those who are available from Monday after the latest tests. We will begin our week of preparation and I can assure you we will be ready to face Scotland at the Stade de France.

“We had a backup plan in case this happened and you can have confidence in Fabien. If there are other positive cases we have taken exceptional measures with the agreement of the Covid cell who oversees the France squad.

“The tests will be tripled in number, and there will be testing every day.”

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