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french concern Covid crisis deepens for France as Six Nations could face fresh turmoil

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France captain Charles Ollivon (left) is among five new Covid-19 cases in Les Bleus squad (Brian Lawless/PA)

France captain Charles Ollivon (left) is among five new Covid-19 cases in Les Bleus squad (Brian Lawless/PA)

France captain Charles Ollivon (left) is among five new Covid-19 cases in Les Bleus squad (Brian Lawless/PA)

Captain Charles Ollivon is among five new France players who will miss the Guinness Six Nations match against Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19.

The French Rugby Federation has also confirmed that two members of the management team are suspected cases ahead of the Paris game on Sunday.

Head coach Fabien Galthie and star scrum-half Antoine Dupont were already among those in isolation following the coronavirus outbreak in the France camp.

A FFR statement said: “Following RT-PCR tests carried out on Sunday February 21, five new players tested positive for Covid-19, leading to the selection of five new players to prepare for the match against Scotland.

“Cyril Baille (25 selections, Stade Toulousain), Peato Mauvaka (6 selections, Stade Toulousain), Romain Taofifenua (22 selections, RC Toulon), Charles Ollivon (20 selections, RC Toulon) and Brice Dulin (33 caps, Stade Rochelais) have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Two members of the management are considered to be a suspicious case. With a view to isolation, the return home of the players and members of the management concerned is underway.

“The return to collective training is set for Wednesday February 24, subject to the results of tests carried out every 24 hours.”

Gaetan Balot, Thierry Paiva, Cyril Cazeaux, Baptiste Pesenti and Thomas Ramos have been called into a new-look 31-man France squad.

The FRF revealed on Sunday that centre Arthur Vincent and hooker Julien Marchand had tested positive for coronavirus, joining Dupont, Gabin Villiere and Mohamed Haouas in isolation.

Galthie and his assistant William Servat tested positive earlier this week and have been isolating.

France are top of the championship after two rounds of fixtures, having opened their campaign with wins against Italy and Ireland.

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