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Cops ground rugby plane over ‘sex assault’ claim

No crime:
Try-scorer
Teddy Thomas
was also said to
have spoken to
officers

A PLANE taking France’s rugby team home was blocked on the runway for police to quiz players after claims of a brawl in a bar and sexual assault.

Officers halted the chartered Jet2 flight to Paris at Edinburgh Airport to interview several squad members as ‘potential witnesses’.

Grounded: Lucas Picamoles ‘interviewed as witness’

But after talking to seven players the team were allowed to take off after a two-hour delay.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said inquiries had ‘established that no crime has been committed’.

The force said: ‘Following an initial report of sexual assault in Edinburgh city centre during the early hours, police conducted various lines of inquiry, including speaking to a number of potential witnesses.

‘These inquiries have established that no crime has been committed.’

Another report suggested members of the French team were involved in an alleged brawl with Scottish fans in the city’s Tigerlily bar.

Reports suggested Louis Picamoles, Eddy Ben Arous and Teddy Thomas, who scored two tries in his side’s 32-26 defeat, were among those questioned and cleared over the alleged brawl.

Nightspot: Tigerlily bar in Edinburgh PICTURES: GETTY/PA

In a tweet posted shortly after officers boarded the plane, the French Rugby Union said: ‘Some players are being heard by the Scottish authorities. We are waiting for more information.’

Tigerlily events manager Jo McKinnell said French players were in the bar on Sunday evening but there were no incidents.