Les Bleus tour in turmoil after duo arrested for alleged sexual assault

David Skippers
Hugo Auradou and Oscar Jegou image 2024.jpg

France duo Hugo Auradou (lock) and Oscar Jegou (flanker).

France’s tour to South America was thrown into further turmoil when it was revealed that two of their players were arrested following an allegation of sexual assault.

Earlier in the week, it was revealed that full-back Melvyn Jaminet was sent home from Argentina for making a racist remark and on Tuesday French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Florian Grill told reporters in Buenos Aires that if the facts are proven regarding the sexual assault claim they are “incredibly serious”.

The duo against whom the allegation was made – Pau second-row Hugo Auradou and La Rochelle back-row Oscar Jegou, who are 20 and 21 respectively – will leave Buenos Aires to go to Mendoza, where the alleged incident happened.

Both players started for France against Argentina

Mendoza was the venue where the first Test between Los Pumas and France took place on Saturday, with Auradou and Jegou both included in Les Bleus’ starting line-up.

“An investigation is under way,” Grill told L’Equipe. “If the facts are proven, they are incredibly serious.

“We must already have a thought for the young woman. If, once again, it is proven, it is the opposite of everything that rugby does.

“I have no details. I cannot say what happened. An investigation is under way. It is important to let it take place.

“We are in contact with the authorities. We are trying to support everyone. We have also notified the French authorities, because this is a potentially very important case.”

Meanwhile, French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera commented on the matter via a post on X (formerly Twitter) which said: “If the investigation establishes the alleged facts, they constitute an unspeakable atrocity.

“Thought for the victim. Thanks to Florian Grill for his right words and his emotion that everyone shares this morning.

Melvyn Jaminet ‘at French rugby’s disposal’ after being sent home for racist remark

“I remain in contact with the federation and our embassy there.”

La Rochelle issued a statement via their official website which read: “Stade Rochelais was informed, through the press, of the arrest of Oscar Jegou in Argentina following an accusation of sexual assault.

“In the total absence of direct information on the ongoing procedure, the club will refrain from any comment for the moment.”

Meanwhile, fellow Top 14 outfit Pau said the club had “learned this morning through the media of the arrest and serious accusations made against our second-row Hugo Auradou, currently on tour in Argentina with the national team.

“The club is awaiting more specific information from the French Rugby Federation and the initial conclusions of the ongoing investigation, which is essential at this stage.”

Jaminet’s racist remark

Toulon star Jaminet was suspended from the tour on Sunday after a video appeared on social media of him making a racist remark.

In the video on Jaminet’s Instagram account, he was heard saying: “My Daronne (the player’s mother) asks me if I’ve been partying… (he breathes out) I swear, the first Arab I see on the street… I’ll hit him with my helmet… I’ll hit him with my helmet… I say: I’ll hit him with my helmet… With my helmet, I hit him…”

Although the video has been deleted, there are copies of it on the internet.

The FFR condemned Jaminet’s comments in a statement and suspended him with immediate effect, while the player apologised shortly after his suspension was announced.

France claimed a 28-13 victory over Argentina in the first Test and are set to play Uruguay in Montevideo on Wednesday, before facing Los Pumas in Saturday’s second Test against in Buenos Aires.

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