France coach left team’s Covid-19 bubble

France Rugby boss Bernard Laporte has revealed that head coach Fabien Galthie left the team’s Six Nations bio-bubble but his job is not in danger.

Galthie was one of the 16 members of France’s squad who tested positive for Covid-19, leading to their crucial Six Nations clash with Scotland this past Sunday being postponed.

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In an interview with France 3 television, FFR president Laporte revealed that Galthie left the team’s secure environment the day after France beat Italy earlier this month. Galthie went to Paris to watch his 19-year-old son play a football match.

‘For me, he has the right to leave from the moment he is masked. He was outside,’ Laporte said during the interview.

‘He watched the match alongside Thomas Lombard [director general of Stade Francais], 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 insisted that Galthie still retains his full support, despite the breach of the team’s bio-bubble.

‘Why wouldn’t I support him? I am not a prosecutor,’ Laporte explained. ‘And it’s not because I really like Fabien. He knows very well that I don’t give gifts to people.’

Despite Laporte’s comments, members of the French Rugby Federation are still calling for an investigation into the breach. French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu asked Laporte to launch an internal investigation but FFR board member Florian Grill has called for an independent investigation into the outbreak.

The governance of French rugby had signed a protocol with the government, which is no small responsibility,’ Grill told French radio Europe 1. ‘We need to get to the truth of this, we need precision and transparency.’

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Photo: BRIAN LAWLESS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images