Monday, 25 January, 2021

Six Nations to meet French in bid to save tournament

England's Emily Scarrett against Italy French rugby release statement on Six Nations participation
Cary Erickson | 14 January, 2021, 15:30

The statement continued: "Against the backdrop of the recent detection of a new strain of coronavirus, the French government has directed that French clubs postpone their participation in EPCR's tournaments for the month of January, both for matches scheduled in France and for those due to be played in the United Kingdom and Ireland".

The two premiership competitions have been temporarily suspended.

In a statement, the EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) confirmed the move after the French Government officially requested the postponement of fixtures in a bid to prevent the spread of the British variant of COVID-19.

"In short, we're expecting a definitive directive from the French government which we have not received so far, as to whether or not the French clubs will be able to participate in rounds three and four of this season's Champions Cup and Challenge Cup", Gaillard told BBC radio.

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European Premiership organizers have suspended the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup with the aim of protecting player's welfare.

A Six Nations spokesperson commented: "We are working hard to hold the tournament as scheduled in each country, with COVID protocols further reinforced from the October to November period that saw the successful conclusion of the Six Nations 2020 and the Autumn Nations Cup".

This became a decree on Monday afternoon, although it is only until February 2021 which should still allow the Six Nations to take place as scheduled.

Champions Cup organisers will now work on a contingency plan to finish the tournament and it is understood that the most likely scenario would see them use the weekends already allocated for the knockouts. "The only way to do that is to shift Premiership games".