Saint-Andre tests positive as Top 14 programme disintegrates

Paris (AFP) –

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Montpellier coach Philippe Saint-Andre has tested positive for Covid-19, a source within the club confirmed to AFP on Friday, as this weekend's Top 14 programme lost yet another match.

Three of the scheduled seven matches in round three of the Top 14 have now been postponed, including Montpellier's meeting with Castres, who have suffered a further outbreak.

Saint-Andre, 53, who was capped 69 times by France as a player before coaching the national team between 2011-2015, was the only member of the Montpellier staff to test positive and he has gone into self-isolation.

However, the bottom side in the Top 14 face a blank weekend after Castres reported a number of new cases.

"Tests carried out on Thursday morning revealed three new positive cases of Covid-19 within the Castres squad," the club said in a statement.

Two weeks ago Castres were forced to forfeit their European Challenge quarter-final at Leicester because of four cases.

Racing 92's game at La Rochelle was called off on Thursday after "several cases" in the Parisian squad, just over two weeks before their European Champions Cup final against Exeter.

Cases at Lyon led to their game with Bordeaux-Begles, scheduled for Saturday, being postponed to Monday.

Bordeaux-Begles, who were top of the table when last season was abruptly halted, already have a match to make up after their opening game was postponed because Stade Francais, hit hard by coronavirus, were unable to field the required number of front-row players.

Under the French league protocol, a match must be postponed if three or more players at a club test positive for Covid-19 over a seven-day period.