Six Nations 2021: France v Scotland – What would postponement imply for Gregor Townsend?
|Venue: Stade de France Date: Sunday, 28 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT|
|Protection: Stay protection on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 stay & Radio Scotland, stay textual content commentary on BBC Sport web site & app|
Scotland’s Six Nations match towards France is in jeopardy after a variety of French gamers and coaches examined optimistic for Covid-19.
Gregor Townsend’s facet are due play in Paris on Sunday, however with case numbers rising in residence ranks, the fixture could also be postponed.
A call on whether or not the match might be performed can be made on Wednesday by the match organisers.
Ought to it’s put again, Townsend can be shorn of a variety of key gamers.
On Tuesday, the French Rugby Federation mentioned there have been no extra optimistic instances within the newest spherical of testing.
France prime the Six Nations desk after profitable each matches thus far, whereas Scotland sit fourth having adopted an historic win over England at Twickenham with a one-point residence loss to Wales.
What is the state of affairs?
After overseeing his crew’s victory over Eire final Sunday, France head coach Fabien Galthie and a member of the non-playing employees examined optimistic two days later.
From that time on, as extra rounds of testing have been accomplished, extra optimistic outcomes have been returned.
On Monday, six days after Galthie entered isolation, the tally of positives within the enjoying squad rose to 10, 9 of whom have been a part of the match-day 23 in Dublin. Star scrum-half Antoine Dupont, captain Charles Ollivon and wing Gabin Villiere are amongst these now isolating.
Assistant coach William Servat additionally examined optimistic.
Gamers have been known as as much as change these now unavailable for Scotland’s go to, and crew coaching is because of resume on Wednesday, with testing carried out each 24 hours and no positives recorded in Tuesday’s batch.
What are the choices?
The Six Nations will resolve whether or not the Check can happen as scheduled, or should be postponed, on Wednesday.
“Making certain the well being and security of all gamers and employees is our primary precedence,” they mentioned in an announcement. “Ought to the choice be that the fixture can’t go forward, the match can be rescheduled for the earliest attainable date.”
The “earliest attainable date” appears to be the next weekend, a relaxation week for the match outdoors of World Rugby’s designated worldwide window.
However that may pose issues for Scotland. Below World Rugby rules, their gamers primarily based in England and France can be launched again to their golf equipment for home obligation.
That would go away Townsend and not using a host of front-line gamers, together with captain Stuart Hogg, fly-half Finn Russell, lock Jonny Grey and centres James Lang and Chris Harris. In truth, 11 of the coach’s wider squad could be rendered unavailable for an out-of-window Check.
Scottish Rugby launched an announcement on Monday saying that “any postponement will have an effect on the participant launch settlement in place with golf equipment.
“We can be working carefully with our Six Nations counterparts to press the case for this week’s recreation to go forward, ought to it’s medically secure to take action.”
What occurred within the autumn?
It’s price remembering that, owing to an settlement on participant load between the French Rugby Federation and its Prime 14 golf equipment, France have been at occasions pressured to choose vastly depleted sides throughout the latest Autumn Nations Cup.
Lacking their total first-choice XV, they nonetheless managed to take full-strength England to further time within the match finale at Twickenham.
That implies that depth is not going to be an issue, and that Scotland would nonetheless face a major problem to earn their first win in Paris since 1999 ought to the sport go forward as scheduled.
State of affairs ‘performs in France’s favour’ – evaluation
Former Scotland, Castres, Montpellier and Bayonne quantity eight Johnnie Beattie on BBC Radio Scotland
Unusually, it performs in France’s favour. They play rather a lot on psychology and emotional drivers. You have received almost a complete XV coming in and now they have an opportunity to play a component in a Grand Slam.
Weirdly, as a result of they’re all in confinement, lacking Galthie would not make any distinction till they begin coaching collectively on Wednesday. Shaun Edwards is the world’s finest defence coach, he is aware of how one can take a coaching session. Galthie and Servat can be a part of each session by FaceTime. Galthie can be in each huddle, main each crew assembly due to the know-how.
I do not assume the sport goes to go forward. I feel it should be postponed. And I feel France can be favourites if it is postponed.
If Scotland get to play towards this majorly weakened facet, they’re going to be up towards a line-out that hasn’t had a lot time collectively, a scrum that hasn’t had many reps collectively, so there’s an opportunity to sneak it.
If it will get pushed to subsequent weekend, it turns into a harder proposition.