French rugby chief Bernard Laporte has confirmed that coach Fabien Galthie did leave the team’s bio-secure bubble before the outbreak of coronavirus that led to Sunday’s match against Scotland being postponed.
Galthie was one of 16 members of the French group (11 of them players) to test positive in the last week, throwing their participation in the remainder of the Six Nations into doubt.
Laporte told television channel France 3 that Galthie left the bubble the day after France beat Italy, to watch his son Mathis, 19, play.
“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 (FFR).
“I don’t see where the problem could be but then again I am not a doctor.”
Laporte also stated that Galthie retains his full support.
“Why wouldn’t I support him?” He said. “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.”
On Saturday, French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu threatened to withdraw the team from the tournament over the incident but, when reached for comment, the Six Nations said they expect to announce the rescheduled date for the Scotland fixture this week.
France’s next scheduled game is at Twickenham a week on Saturday (March 13).
Rugby coverage is brought to you in association with QBE who help businesses build resilience through risk management and insurance. For more information go to QBEEUROPE.com