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Paris match in doubt

Scottish Rugby: We want France game to go ahead

Plans: Gregor Townsend (pic: SNS Group).

Scottish Rugby has stressed to the Six Nations organisers that they want Sunday’s game in Paris to go ahead despite a coronavirus outbreak in the France squad.

The French have had 11 players test positive for Covid-19 – Baptiste Pesenti is the latest – along with four members of the coaching staff including Fabien Galthie.

The Six Nations Testing Oversight Group will make a decision on Wednesday regarding the fixture, with the weekend of 6-7 March having been earmarked as a possible alternative should the situation worsen.

That weekend is a blank one for the tournament but with club matches scheduled, such a reshuffle could pose problems, with 13 members of Gregor Townsend’s squad playing in England.

It would also mean Scotland playing three weekends in a row, something they would want to avoid with players’ fitness in mind.

“Scotland’s national team are continuing their preparations to play France in Paris on Sunday. Our players, coaches and fans hope the game can go ahead as planned in the existing tournament schedule,” said Scottish Rugby.

“Any postponement would have an impact on the player release agreement in place with clubs, which could see more than 10 Scotland players unavailable for selection if the game is rearranged.

“We will be working closely with our Six Nations counterparts to press the case for this week’s game to go ahead, should it be medically safe to do so.”

In a statement, the Six Nations organisers said: “Should the decision be that the fixture cannot go ahead, the match will be rescheduled for the earliest possible date.

“Ensuring the health and safety of all players and staff is our number one priority.”

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