France rugby team blocked from leaving Scotland by police due to investigation into Edinburgh city centre brawl


The plane due to carry the French national team back from Scotland following their Six Nations defeat on Sunday was grounded in order for police to question a number of players regarding an incident the previous night.

The Independent understands that numerous players were questioned by Police Scotland, including Louis Picamoles, Teddy Thomas and Eddie Ben Arous, regarding allegations of a brawl with Scottish rugby fans in Edinburgh city centre.

An initial allegation of sexual assault was made on Monday morning, but police have confirmed that no crime has been committed and no arrests have been made.

As a result, the plane chartered to fly the squad and staff members home was not allowed to leave Edinburgh Airport at its scheduled departure time.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Following an initial report of sexual assault in Edinburgh city centre during the early hours of Monday 12th February, police conducted various lines of inquiry, including speaking to a number of potential witnesses.

“These inquiries have established that no crime has been committed.”

The French Rugby Federation [FFR] confirmed that members of their squad were questioned by police, and after being prevented from leaving Edinburgh on Monday morning at the scheduled 11:00 departure time, the chartered Jet2 flight eventually took off in the afternoon around 13:00.

“The FFR confirms that some players were questioned by the Scottish authorities. We are waiting for more information,” a statement from the FFR read.

Members of the France squad were later cleared of any wrongdoing.

France have lost both of their Six Nations matches so far, losing 15-13 on the opening weekend against Ireland and suffering a 32-26 defeat by Scotland on Sunday at Murrayfield.

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