France wing Gabin Villiere and prop Mohamed Haouas have tested positive for Covid-19, the French federation (FFR) has confirmed, taking the tally of positive cases in the squad to three players since Les Bleus beat Ireland at the Aviva Stadium last Sunday.

Scrum-half Antoine Dupont had tested positive on Friday, days after head coach Fabien Galthie, forwards coach William Servat and another staff member returned positive tests.

The FFR said that of the 32 tests conducted on Friday, 29 had come back negative. All the members of the squad will be tested again on Sunday.

France are scheduled to play Scotland in the Six Nations at the Stade de France on 28 February.

Health minister Olivier Veran announced on Thursday that anyone testing positive for Covid-19 would need to isolate for 10 days, instead of seven previously, as France looks to contain the emergence of a variant that first appeared in the UK.

The FFR has been investigating a possible contamination from the rugby sevens team, who had been taking part in training sessions, but concluded that it could not be proven yet that they were the source of the contamination.

The FFR also ruled that none of the members of the squad could be considered a close contact of the rugby sevens player who tested positive.

The FFR said a new squad list of 31 players would be announced on Sunday.

Les Bleus lead the Six Nations standings with two wins from two games, the second of which came in Dublin last Sunday. They have not won the championship since 2010, the year of their last Grand Slam. 

Follow Italy v Ireland (kick-off 2.15pm, Saturday, 27 February) via our live blog on RTE.ie and the RTÉ News app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.

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