France coach Jacques Brunel has dropped nine players who went out in Edinburgh city centre after last Sunday’s defeat by Scotland, and stated that they “did not respect their status as international players” by doing so.
The plane due to carry the French team home from Edinburgh Airport was grounded on Monday morning as Police Scotland wanted to question a number of players regarding an incident that occurred in the early hours of Monday morning.
An allegation of sexual assault had been made to the police and an investigation was carried out, with Police Scotland determining that no crime was committed and no action was to be taken against any members of the squad. The flight eventually departed two hours later at around 13:00 on Monday afternoon.
Six Nations team of the weekend – round two
But after announcing his squad that will face Italy in the Six Nations on Friday 23 February, a statement from the French Rugby Federation [FFR] confirmed that Brunel has dropped all players who were found to have been involved on the night out.
Anthony Belleau, Jonathan Danty, Arthur Iturria, Remi Lamerat, Felix Lambey, Alexandre Lapandry, Sekou Macalou, Louis Picamoles and Teddy Thomas have all been dropped from the squad, with eight new faces called up to a 32-man squad.
Mathieu Babillot, Mathieu Bastareaud, Gael Fickou, Kelian Galletier, Remy Grosso, Bernard Le Roux, Romain Taofifenua and Francois Trinh Duc have all been called up to the squad, with Bastareaud returning at the first available opportunity after serving a three-week ban for using homophobic language towards an opponent during a European Champions Cup match last month.
“Jacques Brunel decided to exclude from the squad the players who went out after the defeat in Scotland,” an FFR statement read. “By this inappropriate behaviour, they did not respect their status as an international player and the resulting duties.”
The FFR claimed that reports of the…