Six Nations: Fabien Galthie backed despite leaving France squad bubble

Fabien Galthie and Bernard Laporte
Galthie (left) and Laporte - a former France coach himself - have worked together for many years

France head coach Fabien Galthie has been backed by his federation despite leaving the squad's bubble on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

France's round-three game against Scotland was postponed because of an outbreak of coronavirus in the camp.

Galthie provided the squad's first positive test after the 15-13 victory over Ireland in Dublin on 14 February.

Eleven players, including captain Charles Ollivon, have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has threatened to withdraw France from the Six Nations amid reports players went out to eat waffles while they were in Rome to play Italy in their opening game on 6 February.

But French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte has now revealed the day after the Azzurri had been beaten 50-10, Galthie was in the Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris to see his son Mathis play.

"For me, he has the right to leave from the moment he is masked. He was outside," Laporte told France 3 television channel.

"He watched the match alongside [Stade Francais director general] Thomas Lombard, who himself is tested every three days and also wore a mask. I don't see where the problem could be. But then again I'm not a doctor.

"Why wouldn't I support him [Galthie]? I am not a prosecutor. And it's not because I really like Fabien. He knows very well that I don't give gifts to people."

Six Nations organisers have yet to reveal a date for the re-arranged match between tournament favourites France - who have won both their matches - and Scotland.

'Only thing they can do is award Scotland points'

Ugo Monye on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast

I think the game is going to get forfeited and I would not be surprised if the French government take France out of this competition. That's where we're at. But I'd love to see this tournament completed in full with no asterisk, nothing.

Danny Care on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast

I don't know when they're going to find a place for this fixture. Probably the only thing that they can do is award the points to Scotland for this round.

Hopefully, the French players, the whole squad, is tested vigorously and they can still continue their last two games. We need a completed tournament.

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