Six Nations: French preparation disrupted by Covid

Date published: January 24 2022 - Lawrence Nolan

France coach Fabien Galthie has been forced to change nine of the selected squad of 42 for the Six Nations opener with Italy, because of a mix of Covid cases and injuries.

Gaëtan Barlot, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, François Cros, Anthony Jelonch, Cyril Baille and Bernard le Roux all left the group on Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19, while both Cameron Woki and Uini Atonio have suffered injuries on European duty.

New faces

Yacouba Camara, Swan Rebbadj, Pierre Bourgarit, Dorian Aldegheri and Anthony Bouthier join the squad, as do four new faces: Paul Boudehent, Thomas Lavault, Jérôme Rey and Léo Coly.

Coly’s name was prominent in discussions after his call, as he is yet to play a game of top flight rugby in France – much as Melvin Jaminet was yet to do last year before announcing his presence on the scene.

But the youngster has been instrumental in Mont-de-Marsan’s rise to the top of the Pro D2 and has already been involved with the squad as a training partner.

With Dupont most likely sidelined for the first game at least, opportunity beckons.