The XV of France had already come in preparation in Nice, in January 2020, without the ultra strict sanitary protocol of this year -

Frederic DIDES / SIPA

No question of entering their hotel or attending their training.

The XV of France, gathered in Nice since Monday to prepare for the Six Nations Tournament, is plunged into a health bubble.

Hosted until February 4 in single rooms in a privatized establishment, Raphaël Ibanez's 42 Blues will be subjected to three weekly tests for the new coronavirus and their equipment will be disinfected after each use at the Arboras stadium, to the west of the city.

Closed in on itself to "find light" according to the manager, the XV of France especially came to prepare for the meeting against Italy, in Rome on February 6.

Nobody from outside

According to the French Rugby Federation (FFR), the protocol put in place to deal with Covid-19 is reinforced compared to that of the Autumn Nations Cup.

Players, staff and management are thus tested before entering the health bubble.

“All the people who cross the France team must belong to this bubble.

We will be on private flights.

This is valid for all the teams in the competition ", explains Serge Simon, vice-president of the FFR and" Covid manager "of the Blues.

It is already on the Côte d'Azur that Fabien Galthié's Blues had prepared for the 2020 Tournament, finished in second place.

But, nearly a year later, the situation has changed as the XV of France takes up residence in one of the regions most affected by the pandemic.

“If we come here, it's because we come to seek added value with a light, an energy, just to break the routine a little,” adds Serge Simon.


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