France's Ollivon 'ready' for Six Nations opener after concussion scare

Paris (AFP) –


France captain Charles Ollivon said on Tuesday he will be fit to face Italy in the Six Nations opener on February 6.

Ollivon, 27, who skippered les Blues seven times last year, left the field during Toulon's Top 14 win over Stade Francais on Sunday after suffering a head injury.

"I feel good. I passed the examinations. I'm following a progessive return, I saw the neurosurgeons. We did everything in order," he said at the Six Nations launch.

"I will prepare for the match. I'm available for the team and of course I’m ready for the match in Italy," he added.

Coach Fabien Galthie has been without No. 8 Gregory Alldritt for this week's training camp in Nice.

The La Rochelle back-rower withdrew from the squad as he has undergone tests on a knee problem.

"I spoke to him yesterday on the phone about news of his knee. He's very optimistic, for now he is very well," said Galthie.

"We are meant to talk again tomorrow to see how he is and to envisage him returning from next Monday."

The competition is set to go ahead as scheduled despite French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu asking for further protocol "guarantees" due to a coronavirus strain in Britain.

Italy's Matteo Minozzi has pulled out of the Azzurri set-up due to the emotional impact of an almost two-month forced bubble for the campaign.

Galthie said his side will draw inspiration from the end-of-year Test series last autumn to deal with the conditions.

"It's a very political question. It's a subject for the authorities who will decide," he said.

"We succeeded, thanks to our environment, to manage this difficult period. We were in a bubble and it can be hard for some, players and staff.

"Being in a closed community can bring a lot of difficulties. We didn't have any, we were happy to be together," he added.