France star quashes 'rumours' of internal divide
SPOTLIGHT: France No. 8 Gregory Alldritt said on Tuesday the squad are happy to be back together at their Marcoussis training base after a Covid-19 outbreak caused the postponement of their Six Nations match with Scotland.
Les Bleus registered 16 coronavirus cases with 12 of Alldritt’s team-mates and head coach Fabien Galthie among those infected since February 16.
“We came back on Sunday and from Monday we attacked this preparation week which will be crucial in the Six Nations,” 23-year-old Alldritt said.
“We attacked it the same way as the previous weeks, with a lot of pleasure and smiles, in a good mood.
“We were all very happy to be back together at Marcoussis, and to prepare to play a very, very big match this weekend,” he added before heading to England on Saturday.
Last week, an internal investigation by the French Rugby Federation cleared any individual of responsibility after the outbreak and it said the health protocol had been respected.
Former captain Galthie has been criticised since the outbreak for leaving the team hotel to watch his son play a game.
Reports in the French media have claimed players are unhappy with Galthie’s decision to break the Covid-19 rules.
“It’s you who are saying it, it’s just rumours,” Alldritt said.
“There are things that happen in a squad that remain in the squad. An investigation took place. It was published and everything has been said in the investigation.
“There has been no change in that,” he added.
🏟️ Un gros défi attend nos Bleus samedi à Twickenham !ADVERTISEMENT
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) March 9, 2021
Grand Slam ‘dream’
On Saturday, Galthie’s men continue their quest for a first title in 11 years when they visit the country who pipped them to last year’s Six Nations on points difference. France have not beaten England at Twickenham since 2007.
“We know that at Twickenham they’re not an easy team to play. It’s up to us to be very intense in the collision areas,” the La Rochelle back-row said.
“They are a team that have a lot of qualities, up front and in the backs, and we’ll pay a heavy price for the smallest error.”
A win in London would keep their hopes of a first Grand Slam since 2010 alive before hosting Wales on March 20 and welcoming Scotland in a re-arranged fixture a week later.
“There’s a crucial match this weekend, and we have to concentrate on it. If we do things in order then we can allow ourselves to dream of a Grand Slam later.”