'I don't know exactly what the rules are'
Exeter boss Rob Baxter has suggested he is unsure of the rules governing international player release if a Scotland match in the Guinness Six Nations is rescheduled for a different date. There are currently suggestions that Scotland’s game with France might be rescheduled for the weekend of March 6.
A recent outbreak in the France squad has seen ten of their players ruled out of next Sunday’s match in Paris next Sunday. There are doubts that the game will definitely go ahead, with some speculation claiming it could be held over until the following weekend.
Baxter would have been expecting Scotland captain Stuart Hogg and second row Jonny Gray to be available for Exeter selection at Bath on March 6 given that it is supposed to be a fallow Six Nations weekend.
But he admitted he wasn’t fully sure what might happen regarding his Scotland duo if their Six Nations game with France is moved and it then clashes with the Chiefs playing away to Bath in round twelve of the Premiership.
“I don’t know exactly what the rules are,” he said when asked about non-England player release for a Test match if it is rescheduled outside of the current Six Nations fixtures list. “I have seen some headlines today, different headlines have said different things.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 23, 2021
“Would the game get pushed back, would the game get postponed, (would) the points awarded to Scotland? I have seen three or four different headlines. I have only seen one that says the Scotland players would still be available to their clubs. I didn’t realise that it changed out of an international window. There is quite a lot of clarity that needs to be established before we start making any decisions.
“The only thing I can say is that the current French squad who are there together have all passed, all been negative. Normally in a Premiership weekend if you could play a team and you have passed negative tests the game can go ahead. I don’t see any reason why the game shouldn’t go ahead unless there is something else hiding in the background that we are unaware of.”
Baxter added that he would have no fears about Hogg and Gray returning to the Exeter set-up after Scotland play the French. “All you can do is ensure the team that takes the pitch is fully tested negative and that is all you can do every week. You can’t do any more than test players and they prove negative before the game happens and everyone follows the Covid protocols.
“We have had over a season now of it in the Premiership now and we have been able to deal with it on a week-by-week basis and the competition has gone ahead. I don’t see why (it won’t go ahead with) that level of testing within that French squad.
“They had all had three or four tests since they started testing positive. I know for a fact we went from some several tests to zero tests over the space of ten days and we didn’t continue to have problems and we didn’t have any issues from the games we played subsequently from that set of testing very similar to what France have gone through.”
100 per cent correct. https://t.co/vgowIRSm41
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 21, 2021
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