Covid cases force French women to pull out of Sevens event

The French women’s rugby sevens team withdrew from a tournament in Madrid shortly before it was due to start after “two suspicious cases of Covid-19” were detected within the team, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Saturday.

“The management and the players, under medical supervision of the team doctor, were placed in isolation in accordance with the health protocol,” said the FFR in its press release.

Les Bleues have been in Spain for the last fortnight and have had no contact with the men’s Six Nations group which revealed 16 positive coronavirus cases, prompting the postponement of their match against Scotland which was due to take place in Paris on Sunday.

The French women were scheduled to face Poland on Saturday morning in their first match of the tournament which serves as preparation for the Olympic qualifiers in June but they failed to appear at the stadium.

The French men’s rugby sevens team, which was also due to participate in the Madrid tournament, cancelled its visit in mid-February after being “placed in quarantine following positive cases”.

The Madrid tournament marks the return of international rugby sevens, which has been absent since the World Series was cut short in early March 2020 because of the pandemic.