France probe players' Edinburgh night out after Six Nations defeat
By Associated Press
Last Updated: 14/02/18 9:23pm
The French rugby federation is investigating the players who allegedly went out drinking on Sunday after their Six Nations defeat by Scotland.
The federation said in a statement on Wednesday that the inquiry has been ordered by its president Bernard Laporte.
France coach Jacques Brunel had already excluded the players from his Six Nations squad because they "did not respect their international player status and the duties resulting from it".
Insisting their behaviour "seriously damaged the image of France and its rugby team", the federation said the commission in charge of the investigation would submit a report that could open the door to "personalised sanctions".
That could mean individual suspensions for players.
Teddy Thomas, who scored two tries in Sunday's 32-26 loss at Murrayfield and has been France's best player so far in the tournament, is among those excluded.
The French federation did not name the players who were excluded by Brunel for disciplinary reasons, but five of the six players questioned by Scottish authorities and cleared of wrongdoing following a report of sexual assault in Edinburgh early Monday have been left out for their next game against Italy.
They are Louis Picamoles, Anthony Belleau, Remi Lamerat, Jonathan Danty and Felix Lambey.
Arthur Iturria and Sekou Macalou will also miss the Italy game.
After talking to players and potential witnesses at Edinburgh airport while the plane carrying the French back home was held during the investigation, Scotland police said no crime was committed.
The French team said the players were not allowed to go out drinking after the loss and should have stayed with their team-mates.
France have started the Six Nations tournament with back-to-back defeats, losing its opening game to Ireland 15-13 in Paris after an injury-time drop goal by Johnny Sexton.
Without a win in eight matches,the French play Italy on February 23 at the Stade Velodrome in the southern city of Marseille.