France lose five players to positive tests

by AAP

Star halfback Antoine Dupont and four other first-team players who tested positive for COVID-19 are out of France's squad for next Sunday's Six Nations match against Scotland.

The French rugby federation said on Sunday that further tests carried out on Saturday showed that prop Julien Marchand and centre Arthur Vincent had also tested positive for the virus.

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Dupont, prop Mohammed Haouas, winger Gabin Villiere and lineout coach Karim Ghezal tested positive after their tests on Friday.

All five players started last Sunday's 15-13 win at Ireland in Dublin and have to observe a minimum period of seven days in isolation. Coach Fabien Galthie also tested positive after that game.

Two other squad players, lock Swann Rebbadj and prop Jean-Baptiste Gros, were left out after being considered to have been in contact with two teammates from club side Toulon who tested positive.

The seven replacements called up to the 31-man squad on Sunday are props Hassane Kolingar and Dorian Aldegheri; hooker Teddy Baubigny; uncapped halfback Maxime Lucu; centres Jonathan Danty and Yoram Moefana; and uncapped winger Donovan Taofifenua.

France were runners-up to England last year and are looking for a third straight win of this campaign when they host Scotland at Stade de France.

Les Tricolores opened with a resounding 50-10 win in Italy with Dupont among the try scorers in Rome.

He was also voted the tournament's best player last year.

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