France rugby boss Bernard Laporte has confirmed that head coach Fabien Galthie left the squad’s secure Six Nations bubble.
Galthie was one of 16 members of the French rugby squad that tested positive for Covid-19, which resulted in the game against Scotland being postponed.
Laporte was speaking to French television channel France 3 and revealed that Galthie left the secure bubble to watch his son Mathis play a match in the Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris, the day after they defeated Italy in Rome.
FRANCE 7 FÉMININ – Mise à jour situation sanitaire
Suite à la détection de deux cas suspicieux au sein de l’effectif, de nouveaux tests RT-PCR ont été réalisés cet après-midi.
Les deux cas identifiés sont testés négatifs à la Covid-19.
Retrouvez plus d’informations ici➡️
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) February 27, 2021
“For me, he has the right to leave from the moment he is masked. He was outside,” the president of the French Rugby Federation said.
“He watched the match alongside Thomas Lombard [the director general of the Stade Francais team], who himself is tested every three days and also wore a mask. I don’t see where the problem could be, but then again I am not a doctor.”
Laporte ruled out sanctioning the French head coach, insisting that he had his full support to remain in charge of Les Bleus.
“Why wouldn’t I support him? I am not a prosecutor. And it’s not because I really like Fabien. He knows very well that I don’t give gifts to people,” Laporte commented.
Annoyance from the French Ministry of Sport
The French Minister for Sport Roxana Maracineanu had threatened to withdraw the France national team from the Six Nations in recent days, explaining that she was waiting on a full explanation from French rugby’s governing body.
“At the Ministry of Sports, we have authorised players to travel and also to train under certain conditions. We have given an authorisation, we can also withdraw that authorisation,” Maracineanu said.
“Where I’m worried is that we made an exception for athletes, for an organisation and I was very keen on it. They committed to a certain protocol. And when they did, it wasn’t just for rugby.
“It’s also for the rest of the sport, for the rest of the tournaments that are held elsewhere, that we all collectively have to be responsible. Then when there are mistakes, you have to take responsibility for your mistakes.”
France are due to take on England at Twickenham Stadium on March 13, but the fixture remains under some degree of doubt due to the controversy surrounding the positive Covid cases.