FRANCE were looking to continue their Six Nations winning streak against Scotland in Round 3.
But the match was postponed after a coronavirus outbreak within the French squad.
Why has France vs Scotland been cancelled?
France vs Scotland has been cancelled after the entire French squad was ordered to isolate.
The match had been scheduled to go ahead despite Les Bleus reporting ten positive tests.
However a further positive test led to the match being called off on Thursday.
A Six Nations statement said: “The Six Nations Testing Oversight Group (TOG) met today to review the situation in the French Camp.
“They unanimously recommended the postponement of the France v Scotland match. This will be ratified later today by the Six Nations Council.
“We will be working on the rescheduling of this fixture and will communicate the date in due course.”
In a statement on Twitter, France rugby said: “Following the RT-PCR tests carried out on Wednesday, February 24, and the appearance of a positive test within the playing squad, the FFR medical committee met this morning and decided to suspend training today.
“The entire group is in isolation in accordance with the health protocol.
“The FFR is in close contact with the Six Nations committee.”
And there may be question marks over France’s future in the tournament altogether after the French Sports Minister suggested they may have broken the strict Covid protocols that allowed them to be granted an exemption to the country’s UK travel ban in the first place.
Roxana Maracineanu told L’Equipe TV: “We asked an investigation from the FFR and from (president) Bernard Laporte, who himself came to see us before the tournament to present us the protocol and tell us that everything was going to go well, that the bubble was going to be strictly respected with controlled entries and exits.
“Now that we can see that this is not the case, I am waiting for him to come and explain to us what has happened.
“If nothing happens, if we don’t look into this chain of contaminations and they don’t explain to us how it could happen, then the authorisation that has been given (to play in the Six Nations) can be withdrawn.”
After it emerged that some players went out for waffles, Maracineanu added: “I don’t think it was written in the protocol that the players could go out to eat waffles.
“If they went out to eat waffles, they had to be re-tested when they re-entered the bubble.
“We want to know if this has been done because it is the conditions of re-entering and exiting the bubble that make it a bubble, by definition.”
When was France vs Scotland?
- France vs Scotland was scheduled to be played on Sunday, February 28 at the Stade de France.
- Kick-off was at 3pm UK time – 4pm French time.
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When will France vs Scotland be played now?
France vs Scotland looks set to be played as a standalone game which will decide the fate of the Six Nations later in the year.
Reports in France suggest Scotland rejected a date of Tuesday, March 9 as they want to make sure they play no sooner than 14 days after Les Bleus’ last positive Covid rest.
The most likely date for the match, according to French rugby paper Midi Olympique, is now Friday, March 26.
However, this will be dependent on Scotland securing the release of all their players from the Premiership and national Championship.
Should there be no agreement on March 26, the European finals weekend of May 22/23 is believed to be a possibility.
July 3 has also been mooted, though that would clash with the Lions Tour.
Could Scotland be awarded a win?
In the Autumn Nations Cup, France, Italy and Scotland were awarded 28-0 wins over Fiji after a Covid outbreak within the Pacific Islanders’ squad – therefore the precedent is there.
However, it is only likely that this would even be considered if France were found to have been responsible for the virus entering the squad through, for example, a breach of bubble regulations.
Prior to the tournament, the head of the Six Nations Ben Morel said the priority would be to reschedule if any matches were postponed.
He commented: “The primary focus would be to reschedule.
“The reason why we went for immediate results during the Nations Cup was that it had to progress because there was a finals weekend.
“We would obviously want to protect the sporting integrity of the Six Nations as much as possible.
“We are confident in our ability to stage the matches at the right time, it’s more what logistical gymnastics we need to adapt to.”