Scotland center Chris Harris would be “devastated” if their clash between Six Nations’ Guinness and France was postponed for a week and he was recalled for his club duty.
arris is among the more than 10 Scottish players who could miss the clash in Paris if Six Nations organizers push him back for a week following a Covid-19 outbreak on the host team.
Ten French players have tested positive, while head coach Fabien Galthie is on the staff who is self-isolating.
No new cases were discovered in the final round of testing on Monday evening and Six Nations organizers will make a decision on Sunday’s scheduled match on Wednesday.
The Gloucester Harris midfielder is set to return to his club for the second Six Nations fallow week after Sunday’s game, and would be among the players who could be missing if the game is moved to the following weekend.
“I would be pretty upset,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to play for Scotland, I want to play for my country. I would be quite devastated on a personal level.
“But if it’s not safe to play this weekend, it’s not safe. And if I have to go back to Gloucester and I don’t have the right to go back, if they can change those laws, it’s all out of my hands and out of the hands of the players.
“We just need to crack and focus on not letting that be a distraction.”
The 30-year-old added, “We obviously want to play it, but at the end of the day if the medics think it’s not going to be safe, you have to trust their judgment.
“It wouldn’t be ideal with reg (rule) nine for the last week, we would obviously lose boys. I do not know the details on this. But we want it to be done as a group, as a nation.
“We’re in a good position to go out there and really do a job.
“This is our goal. All other things are none of our business. It’s up to other people to tell us if it’s safe or not and if the game continues. We’ll just focus on the job at hand.
If the match continues on Sunday, France will be without captain Charles Ollivon and scrum half Antoine Dupont, who played in the championship last year.
“Obviously they’ve lost a couple of key players, but they’ve got a lot of players to choose from, they’ve got a lot of quality as a replacement,” said Harris. “There are still threats there.
“But obviously with the lack of Dupont it’s a class number so it would be a good time.
“But they still have good players. There was a similar situation in the fall when England played against France and they played really well. We can’t take it for granted, they’re still a good team.
Expectations would rise for Scotland if they faced an understaffed France side but, having recently ended long waits for wins in Wales and England, Harris believes they could face any added pressure as they try to win in Paris for the first time since 1999..
“Look, we’re ready for this,” he said. “We feel good, we play well. There are still areas that we can improve, and I think it’s just exciting.
“We’re up there – we’re with a shot. It’s a big game for us. If we go out there and win it puts us in a very good position to win the competition. Everyone believes it.
“We just have to go out there and get the job done. This is also why we want this game to play out. This is our whole goal. ”