| 17.5°C Dublin

Players going for waffles and Galthie's match trip - more chaos in France as reports of bubble breaches emerge

Close

France head coach Fabien Galthie left the team bubble to watch his son play a match. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

France head coach Fabien Galthie left the team bubble to watch his son play a match. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

France head coach Fabien Galthie left the team bubble to watch his son play a match. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

French rugby president Bernard Laporte has confirmed that head coach Fabien Galthie breached the team bubble to watch his son play a match.

France's Six Nations match with Scotland last weekend was postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the squad that saw Galthie test positive for the virus along with 16 others across the coaching and playing staff.

The players who tested positive include scrum-half Antoine Dupont, captain Charles Ollivon and the entire starting French front row.

In an interview with France 3 television, Laporte said that Galthie left the team bubble the day after France's opening-round win over Italy to watch his 19-year-old son Mathis play a match in Paris.

"For me, he has the right to leave from the moment he is masked. He was outside," said Laporte, the president of the French Rugby Federation.

"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 said that despite Galthie's breach - along with reports that a number of players left the bubble to go for waffles in Rome - his head coach retains his backing.

"Why wouldn't I support him? I am not a prosecutor. And it's not because I really like Fabian. He knows very well that I don't give gifts to people."

Rugby Newsletter

Subscribe to 'The Collision' for a weekly update from Rugby Correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor and the best writing from our expert team Issued every Friday morning

This field is required

It is unclear when France's clash with Scotland will now be played, with a summer date being mooted. France sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has threatened to withdraw the team's authorisation to play in the Six Nations over the breaches.

"We asked an investigation from the FFR and from (president) Bernard Laporte, who himself came to see us before the tournament to present us the protocole and tell us that everything was going to go well, that the bubble was going to be strictly respected with controlled entries and exits," Maracineanu told L’Equipe TV.

"Now that we can see that this is not the case, I am waiting for him to come and explain to us what has happened.

"If nothing happens, if we don’t look into this chain of contaminations and they don’t explain to us how it could happen, then the authorisation that has been given (to play in the Six Nations) can be withdrawn.

"I don’t think it was written in the protocole that the players could go out to eat waffles.

"If they went out to eat waffles, they had to be re-tested when they re-entered the bubble. We want to know if this has been done because it is the conditions of re-entering and exiting the bubble that make it a bubble, by definition."


Most Watched





Privacy