Six Nations France drop several players after night out


France coach Jacques Brunel has made several changes to his latest Six Nations squad after choosing to drop players who went out drinking following the weekend’s loss to Scotland at Murrayfield.

The squad’s return from Edinburgh was delayed on Monday after their flight was halted so police could question players in relation to a reported sexual assault that allegedly took place at a bar on Sunday night.

It is reported that Louis Picamoles, Anthony Belleau, Jonathan Danty, Remi Lamerat, Yacouba Camara and Felix Lambey were among those questioned over the incident.

Although police were able to establish that “no crime has been committed”, back-rower Camara was the only member of the group not to be omitted from Brunel’s squad to host Italy on Feb. 23.

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) revealed that some players had been dropped as punishment for going out after the loss — but did not specifically name those who were being penalised.

“From this list [of players in contention for the Italy game], Jacques Brunel has decided to leave out the players who went out after the defeat to Scotland,” read a statement issued by the FFR on Tuesday.

“Through their inappropriate behaviour, they have disrespected their position as international players and the responsibilities that come with it.”

In addition to the group involved in police inquiries, Alexandre Lapandry, Arthur Iturria, Sekou Macalou and Teddy Thomas — the flying winger who has scored all three of France’s tries in this year’s competition — have also failed to retain their places from the trip to Edinburgh.

Among those drafted into the squad is Mathieu Bastareaud, who is yet to feature for Les Bleus during their current campaign.

The Toulon centre, 29, had been unavailable for France’s first two matches after he was suspended for using homophobic language towards an opponent.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report

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