French clubs and national side reach player agreement

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Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in action against France in 2019
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in action against France in 2019

French rugby chiefs have reached a compromise which will allow the national side to play all six games of the extended autumn Test window.

This includes the opening Six Nations warm-up match against Wales on 24 October in Paris.

The French Rugby League (LNR) has been at loggerheads with the French Rugby Federation (FFR) over the increase in Tests following the coronavirus shutdown.

An agreement has now been reached.

The LNR, which runs the lucrative Top 14 and second division ProD2 had insisted the number of games be capped at five and even launched an appeal – which was rejected – in France’s highest administrative court.

In the compromise, announced on Thursday after negotiations between the two parties, the bodies also agreed to cap France match-day squads at 31 with three games the most any individual player can appear in.

France will host Wales in a warm-up on 24 October before finishing off their Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland a week later. They will then play four games in the newly-created Autumn Nations Cup from 14 November to 5 December.

Curfew competition

The France home matches are still scheduled to go ahead behind closed doors despite the president announcing curfews in Paris and eight other cities across the country to be imposed from Saturday.

Emmanuel Macron said people must stay indoors from 9pm to 6am to help control the spread of coronavirus.

The opening match at the Stade de France between France and Wales is still due to kick-off at 20:00 BST (9pm local time in Paris) with sporting exemptions expected to be granted.

Fabien Galthie has named five uncapped players in his squad to play Wayne Pivac’s side.

Racing 92 prop Georges-Henri Colombe Reazel and centre Olivier Klemenczak are joined by Lyon lock Killian Geraci, Toulouse No 8 Selevasio Tolofua and La Rochelle winger Arthur Retiere.



BBC News