France manager Raphael Ibanez has suggested that the outbreak that has affected 14 members of squad and staff so far and has put Sunday’s Six Nations clash with Scotland in jeopardy may have originated in Dublin.
Tournament organisers will make a call on the Stade de France fixture tomorrow after the ‘Testing Oversight Group’ met yesterday. The French players who tested negative in the latest round of testing are proceeding with limited preparation for the game.
Ireland’s players and staff have been tested four times since the loss to France last Sunday week and coach Mike Catt said there have been no positive cases thus far.
“We are Covid-free as we currently stand,” he said. “We’re very happy with the way things are going, the players have been exceptional in sticking to the protocols.”
Authorities in France and Ireland are satisfied that no member of the Irish party should be considered a close contact of any of the French cases.
“It is not uniquely a French issue,” Ibanez said of the outbreak.
“The head coach of England (Eddie Jones) was affected by it (when he had to self-isolate before the tournament) . . . 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.”