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2022 Six Nations Tournament: caught up by the Covid-19, the Blues deprived of Damian Penaud in Cardiff

One day after fearing an injury to its captain, Antoine Dupont, hit in the left arm in training, the XV of France flew to Cardiff deprived of an indisputable holder. Come to announce the composition of the French men’s rugby team to face Wales, Friday March 11 (9 p.m., Paris time) in the Welsh capital, Raphaël Ibanez and Fabien Galthié – respectively manager and coach of the Blues – announced on Wednesday March 9 the packages of winger Damian Penaud and second-line “finisher” Romain Taofifenua, who tested positive for Covid-19.

“We had so far been rather spared at the level of the players, that’s how it is. We have the resources to take on Wales.”, said Raphaël Ibanez in the preamble to the press conference. The two players, who trained normally with the team on Monday and Tuesday, were placed in solitary confinement on Wednesday, following their positive test, “while they were packing their bags”explained Fabien Galthié.

Among the key players of the France team, Damian Penaud, author of a double during the victory of the Blues in Scotland (36-17), is forced to leave his place. He will be replaced in Cardiff by Toulon winger Gabin Villière, absent in Scotland following an injury. As for the other wing, it will again be devolved to Yoram Moefana, who plays as a center in a club (Bordeaux-Bègles), as in Edinburgh.

Read also 2022 Six Nations Tournament: the Blues offer a demonstration in Scotland

Other positive players by Friday?

The tricolor coach was also reassuring about the state of health of Antoine Dupont, who had interrupted his training on Tuesday, hit in the left arm, assuring that he was going ” very well “ ; but Fabien Galthié has not ruled out that other players will test positive between now and the match in Wales. “We are preparing for it: we are awaiting information from the Six Nations Committee to find out if and when we will be retested. »

Winners of their first three matches of the Tournament, the French arrive in Cardiff as favorites. The only team still in the running to achieve the Grand Slam (win all its matches in the Tournament), France remains on two victories against the Welsh: two years ago in Cardiff (23-27) and in 2021 at the Stade de France (32 -30).

Read also Six Nations Tournament 2022: for the Blues, the time to exceed the promises

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