Sunday 15 September 2019

French rugby flight delayed following sex assault claim

The Tigerlily bar in Edinburgh that was visited by French players
The Tigerlily bar in Edinburgh that was visited by French players

Daniel Grey

France were delayed from returning home after their Six Nations match against Scotland after several of their players were called in to help police with a sex assault investigation.

The squad was due to fly back to Paris this morning from Edinburgh but, according to reports, the plane was delayed on the tarmac after Scottish police demanded to speak to players.

Police Scotland released a statement yesterday confirming that certain members of the French side had been spoken to regarding an alleged complaint of sexual assault.

A Police Scotland spokesman told the BBC: "Following an initial report of sexual assault in Edinburgh city centre during the early hours of Monday, February 12, police conducted various lines of inquiry, including speaking to a number of potential witnesses.

"These inquiries have established that no crime has been committed."

France's chartered Jet2 flight, from Edinburgh to Paris Orly airport, subsequently left two hours after the original 11am departure time.

The French website Rugbyrama earlier claimed that the incident took place in the Tigerlily bar in George Street, just west of Edinburgh city centre.

It was reported that the French rugby players' attendance at the venue was part of a night out that had been sanctioned by France coach Jacques Brunel.

The website suggests that seven players were spoken to by police.

The French Rugby Federation tweeted to confirm that players had been spoken to by the Scottish authorities and that they were awaiting more information.

France lost the Six Nations match 32-26 at Murrayfield.

It means they have lost both of their opening games in the tournament, after a late drop goal secured victory for Ireland on the opening weekend.

Irish Independent

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