France head coach Fabien Galthie to miss Six Nations opener against Italy after testing positive for Covid-19 while Antoine Dupont returns to captain the side
Fabien Galthie tweeted he had tested positive and said he would work remotely
General manager Raphael Ibanez will take charge for Sunday’s game vs Italy
World player of the year Antoine Dupont is back after having Covid-19 last month
France begin their Six Nations campaign against Italy at the Stade de France
By PA Media and Sam Cooper For Mailonline
Published: 12:05 GMT, 4 February 2022 | Updated: 12:05 GMT, 4 February 2022
France head coach Fabien Galthie has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not attend Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations clash against Italy in Paris.
Les Bleus’ general manager and former captain Raphael Ibanez will head up the coaching team at Stade de France, with Galthie working remotely.
‘This morning I tested positive for Covid-19. I am fine with mild symptoms,’ Galthie tweeted.
France head coach Fabien Galthie has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Six Nations
‘As a result, I am self-isolating and will act remotely this week.
‘Raphael Ibanez and all of my staff, in whom I have full confidence, will be my relay on the pitch.’
The French Rugby Federation said that tests carried out on the entire playing squad, coaching and management team on Friday produced no further positive results.
General manager Raphael Ibanez (left) will be in charge for the game against Italy on Sunday
‘Fabien Galthie, who has only mild symptoms, continues to assume all of his prerogatives from a distance during this period,’ the Federation said.
‘He will rely on the presence of Raphael Ibanez with the France group, as well as on all the staff, and will continue to intervene remotely.
‘In accordance with Six Nations protocol, additional tests are scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday February 5, on the eve of the match.
Scrum-half Antoine Dupont will return to captain the side after his own Covid-19 absence
‘These will be the last tests before the first match of the Six Nations tournament scheduled for Sunday February 6 at 4pm at the Stade de France.’
World player of the year Antoine Dupont, who was among a number of France squad members to test positive for coronavirus last month, will captain Les Bleus in their Six Nations opener.
Toulouse scrum-half Dupont replaces an injured Charles Ollivon as skipper, while there is a start in the second-row for Bordeaux-Begles’ Cameron Woki alongside Paul Willemse.
France’s team to face Italy
M Jaminet; D Penaud, G Fickou, J Danty, G Villiere; R Ntamack, A Dupont (capt); C Baille, J Marchand, U Atonio, C Woki, P Willemse, A Jelonch, D Cretin, G Alldritt.
Replacements: P Mauvaka, J-B Gros, D Bamba, R Taofifenua, F Cros, M Lucu, Y Moefana, T Ramos.
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