FFR boss admits players also went out for waffles in Rome

Fabien Galthie left bubble, France chief Bernard Laporte confirms

On Sunday night, France Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte confirmed the stories of head coach Fabien Galthie leaving les Bleus secure bubble to watch his son play a game of rugby, and that some squad members went out to eat waffles while in Rome.

Head coach Galthie is one of 16 members of the French group to test positive for Covid-19, with the spread of the virus causing France’s Six Nations match against Scotland to be postponed. Due to the outbreak, French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu threatened to withdraw France’s authorisation to play in the championship and an internal investigation began. Over the weekend, calls have come in for deeper, external scrutiny.

Related: France v Scotland postponed

Now, Laporte has told France 3 television that the day after les Bleus defeated Italy 50-10, Galthie left the mandated safe area for the Stade Jean-Bouin, in Paris, to watch his 19-year-old son Mathis play an Espoirs match. It confirms many of the reports that have featured in L’Equipe over the last week.

However, Laporte reiterated his support for Galthie, as the man to take France to Rugby World Cup 2023. He said: “For me, he has the right to leave from the moment he is masked. He was outside. He watched (his son’s match) alongside Thomas Lombard (director general of  Stade Français), who himself is tested every three days and also wore a mask.”

Related: Dupont dazzles as France crush Italy

Laporte also said that the French players who left the team hotel to go eat waffles in Rome before the Italy match were retested when they returned to the bubble.

We will report more on this story as it develops.

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