Rugby | Six Nations

Brunel wields France axe amid Edinburgh night out controversy

Jacques Brunel has dropped a host of players from the France squad to face Italy amid controversy over their conduct in Edinburgh.

Brunel wields France axe amid Edinburgh night out controversy

Ahead of their Six Nations clash with Italy, France have dropped the players who went out in Edinburgh after their defeat to Scotland.

Sexual assault claims against French players

A number of France players were questioned by police at Edinburgh Airport following a report of sexual assault during a night out following their 32-26 loss at Murrayfield.

Police Scotland released a statement to Omnisport which read: "Following an initial report of sexual assault in Edinburgh city centre during the early hours of Monday 12th February, police conducted various lines of inquiry, including speaking to a number of potential witnesses.

"These inquiries have established that no crime has been committed."

Action from the Six Nations rugby match between Scotland and France at Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh, Britain, 11 February 2018.

In a statement, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) said the players had been dropped as their behaviour "did not respect their international status and the resulting duties".

Dropped but no partying names given

The FFR has not confirmed which players attended the night out. 

Among those dropped is wing Teddy Thomas, who starred in the loss to Scotland with two excellent individual tries.

Louis Picamoles, Arthur Iturria, Anthony Belleau, Jonathan Danty, Sekou Macalou, Remi Lamerat and Felix Lambey are also omitted from the 31-man party.

Camille Chat and Mathieu Bastareaud come into the squad along with Francois Trinh-Duc, Gael Fickou, Kelian Galletier, Remy Grosso, Bernard Le Roux, Romain Taofifenua and the uncapped Mathieu Babillot.

Les Bleus' Scotland defeat followed a dramatic 15-13 loss to Ireland in Paris, to where they return a week on Friday as they attempt to get off the mark against the Azzurri.


France squad:

Forwards: Mathieu Babillot, Eddy Ben Arous, Yacouba Camara, Camille Chat, Paul Gabrillagues, Kelian Galletier, Cedate Gomes Sa, Guilhem Guirado (captain), Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard Le Roux, Adrien Pelissie, Jefferson Poirot, Dany Priso, Rabah Slimani, Romain Taofifenua, Marco Tauleigne, Sebastien Vahaamahina.  

Backs: Mathieu Bastareaud, Lionel Beauxis, Hugo Bonneval, Henry Chavancy, Baptiste Couilloud, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Benjamin Fall, Gael Fickou, Remy Grosso, Maxime Machenaud, Geoffrey Palis, Baptiste Serin, Francois Trinh-Duc, Virimi Vakatawa.