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France’s Hugo Auradou and Oscar Jégou arrested on sexual assault charges
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France’s Hugo Auradou and Oscar Jégou arrested on sexual assault charges

Two France international rugby players have been arrested after an allegation of sexual assault was made against them during Les Bleus’ South America tour. The president of the the French rugby federation’ (FFR), Florian Grill, told reporters in Buenos Aires that if the facts are proven they are “incredibly serious”.

The two players – the 20-year-old Pau lock Hugo Auradou and the La Rochelle flanker Oscar Jégou, 21 – are set to be taken from the Argentinian capital to Mendoza, where the alleged incident happened. Mendoza staged the first Test between Argentina and France on Saturday, when Auradou and Jégou both started.

“An investigation is under way,” Grill said, in comments reported by L’Équipe. “If the facts are proven, they are incredibly serious. We must already have a thought for the young woman. If, once again, it is proven, it is the opposite of everything that rugby does. I have no details. I cannot say what happened. An investigation is under way. It is important to let it take place.

“We are in contact with the authorities. We are trying to support everyone. We have also notified the French authorities, because this is a potentially very important case.”

In a post on X, the French sports minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, said: “If the investigation establishes the alleged facts, they constitute an unspeakable atrocity. Thought for the victim. Thanks to Florian Grill for his right words and his emotion that everyone shares this morning. I remain in contact with the federation and our embassy there.”

In a statement on the club’s website, La Rochelle said: “Stade Rochelais was informed, through the press, of the arrest of Oscar Jégou in Argentina following an accusation of sexual assault. In the total absence of direct information on the ongoing procedure, the club will refrain from any comment for the moment.”

Pau, meanwhile, said the club had “learned this morning through the media of the arrest and serious accusations made against our second-row Hugo Auradou, currently on tour in Argentina with the national team. The club is awaiting more specific information from the French rugby federation and the initial conclusions of the ongoing investigation, which is essential at this stage.”

The France full-back Melvyn Jaminet was suspended from the tour on Sunday after a video surfaced online of the Toulon player making a racist remark. The video came from an Instagram story posted to his account. It has since been deleted, although copies of the video are on the internet.

The FFR condemned Jaminet’s comments in a statement and suspended him with immediate effect, while the player issued an apology shortly after his suspension was announced. France are due to play Uruguay in Montevideo on Wednesday, before Saturday’s second Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Source: theguardian.com