Two France players arrested over sexual assault claims

France international Oscar Jegou ready to throw the ball
Oscar Jegou plays his club rugby for La Rochelle [Getty Images]

Two France internationals have been arrested in Argentina after allegations a woman was sexually assaulted.

Oscar Jegou, 21, and Hugo Auradou, 20, were detained in Buenos Aires on Monday and will be transported to Mendoza.

The players' lawyer, Rafael Cuneo Libarona, said they denied the allegation.

France are on a tour of South America.

The France squad stayed in Mendoza on Saturday following their 28-13 Test win against Argentina, during which the two players both made their international debuts.

"If the facts are proven, they are incredibly serious," French Rugby Federation president Florian Grill said.

"We will reserve the results of the investigation."

Martin Ahumada, a spokesperson for the Mendoza prosecutor's office, told the AFP news agency a commission was travelling to Buenos Aires to carry out "investigative actions" and "if the results match the victim's testimony, the indictment will be issued".

French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said: "If the investigation establishes the alleged facts, they constitute an unspeakable atrocity."

Oudea-Castera said she was in contact with the federation and the French embassy in Argentina.

Jegou, who plays back row for French club La Rochelle and Auradou, a lock for Pau, were both part of France's 2023 Under-20 World Championship-winning team.

La Rochelle said in a statement on their website: "In the total absence of direct information on the ongoing procedure, the club will refrain from any comment for the moment."

Pau also said they would await "more specific information" before commenting further.

The French Rugby Federation said Grill and vice-chairman for high performance Jean-Marc Lhermet will remain with Jegou and Auradou in Argentina, while the rest of the squad travel to Uruguay.

France play Uruguay in Montevideo on Wednesday before returning to Buenos Aires for a second Test against Argentina.

The arrests came two days after full-back Melvyn Jaminet was suspended by the federation after he posted a video on social media with a racist comment.

Jaminet, who plays for Toulon, put the video on his Instagram account after playing in the victory against Argentina.

Although Jaminet deleted the video, it was widely shared on social media and the 25-year-old was sent home from the tour.

Jaminet said he was "deeply sorry and ashamed of my comments".