France head coach Galthie tests positive for Covid-19

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Fabien Galthie took over as France head coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup

France head coach Fabien Galthie has contracted coronavirus two games into this season's Six Nations tournament, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Tuesday.

Galthie, 51, will spend a week in isolation.

The holding of the Six Nations had been in doubt before it started in early February after the French government called for further guarantees about the competition's safety protocol.

"In line with the safety protocol in place, the two members of the coaching staff, whose isolation started last night, will continue to isolate for seven days," the FFR said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, all the players had been placed in isolation after one of the coaching staff tested positive for coronavirus and Galthie had returned a "suspect" PCR test result and was awaiting the second test that confirmed he had the virus.

However, all the players have tested negative, the FFR said.

France's next match is at home to Scotland on February 28.

Galthie's squad, who top the table after away victories over Italy and Ireland, returned to their Marcoussis headquarters after Sunday's win in Dublin for a three-day debrief before a weekend off.

"Extra tests will be undertaken on Wednesday morning at the National Rugby Centre. Tests will take place at homes on Friday and as well on Sunday night at the National Rugby Centre," it said.

The FFR also said the squad to prepare for the Scotland match will be named on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu gave the green light for France's involvement in the championship to go ahead at the "scheduled date, in a bio-secure bubble".

She had worries about the UK variant of the virus which had caused the last two rounds of the European Champions and Challenge Cups to be cancelled.

France's squad and coaching staff have been in a bio-secure bubble since a training camp in Nice at the end of January and have used private flights and hotels.

Late on Monday, Galthie was pictured on social media next to Antoine Dupont as the scrum-half received the France player of the year award from specialist newspaper Midi Olympique during a virtual ceremony.

Galthie's England counterpart Eddie Jones spent 10 days away from his set-up before the tournament after coming into contact with forwards coach Matt Proudfoot who had tested positive for the virus.