Will the Blues see Stade de France for the first time this year on Sunday? This is the delicate question that the Six Nations Tournament Committee will be examining on Wednesday evening. The meeting must decide whether the XV of France, weighed down by the English variant of Covid-19 for a week, should welcome Scotland or not on Sunday in what was to be a potential new stage of a Grand Slam expected since 2010 by the tricolor rugby. In the meantime, many questions arise about this cluster.
Is the situation improving?
A sigh of relief roamed the aisles of the National Rugby Center on Tuesday morning. The PCR tests carried out the night before on the staff and the players gathered in Marcoussis (Essonne) all came back negative from the laboratory. A first while each of the releases from the French Rugby Federation since the first cases a week ago brought his or her new contaminated to the list today provided of ten players – plus the third row of Pau, Baptiste Pesenti, tested positive before his arrival at Marcoussis – and four members of the management, including coach Fabien Galthié.
As the protocol set up in the emergency, the Blues must perform new PCR tests this Tuesday evening. “If they are still all negative, we can estimate that the initial wave of contamination is behind them, estimates the infectious disease specialist at the hospital of Garches (Hauts-de-Seine), Benjamin Davido. As long as there has been no contact between the negatives and the positives in the meantime. “
Everything will also depend on a possible contamination during the break granted to the players at the end of last week. According to the publications of some players on social networks, everything suggests that the principle of limiting exchanges with the outside world as much as possible during this period of rest has not been scrupulously respected. In the meantime, all these beautiful people are in Marcoussis, where training is done without contact and without the ball before a possible resumption on Wednesday.
How will the postponement of the match be decided or not?
In the family of acronyms with barbaric sounds, here is the “Tog”. The Six Nations Testing Oversight Group, which centralizes the medical information of the selections involved in the competition, meets this Wednesday evening to consider the merits of playing or not on Sunday (4 p.m.) the meeting between the Blues and the Scotland, the only nation to have dominated them during the 2020 edition of the Tournament.
When contacted, the Six Nations Committee did not respond to our requests for clarification of the criteria that would be used to decide whether or not to hold the meeting on Sunday. Contrary to what can be practiced in football, no number of cases to justify the postponement of a meeting has been communicated. In short, it is a blur. Several sources tell us that “the health situation and its dynamics will be decisive”. Understand that if there are no new cases on Wednesday, the meeting should be continued.
But while awaiting the verdict, the hypothesis of a postponement worries the Scots. On Monday, they have already expressed their opposition to any postponement of the match. The French Rugby Federation (FFR) also claims to want to play the match, even if internally the debates were lively, as revealed by infectious disease specialist Eric Caumes, member of the medical committee of the FFR.
What is the responsibility of the French Rugby Federation?
At the end of January, the manager of the XV of France, Raphaël Ibañez, promised an “ultra-strict” health bubble throughout the tournament. But several people close to the case assure us that it was not enough. According to information from L’Equipe, the Blues coach Fabien Galthié broke the health bubble at the beginning of the week before the trip to Ireland.
Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu met Monday with FFR President Bernard Laporte – on the sidelines since the start of the crisis – on the management of health requirements in the tournament. But was the leader of French rugby aware of this breach of protocol? And did he tell the former swimmer?
In parallel, the daily medical update of the Blues is also transmitted to the ministry. No investigation – the minister’s entourage ensures that this type of situation does not allow it – but careful monitoring of the situation.
“For the moment, we are united behind the France team, but I am embarrassed by the gap between the promises of the leaders and the reality, tackle Florian Grill, defeated candidate for the presidency of the FFR and member of its management committee . We had clusters on the under 20s, the French team at seven and now this one. Once this crisis is behind us, we will have to do a serious analysis of what really happened. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr