Jamie Cudmore has slammed French contingency plans to try and conclude the 2019/20 Top 14 campaign. Life in France is in lockdown until May 11 at the earliest following the latest coronavirus pandemic restrictions enforced by its president, Emmanuel Macron.

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This latest pushback to the resumption of daily life has resulted in Top 14 officials issuing their latest ideas on how and when to finish the currently suspended season, but this planning has drawn the ire of ex-Canadian international Cudmore, a long-time lynchpin of the title-winning Clermont pack. 

Taking to Twitter in Canada after learning of the latest proposals to emerge from France, the retired Cudmore pulled no punches. “I’ve seen some stupid shit in my time but this takes the cake!! Just shut it down and HOPE it’s safe to start pre-season in August/September.”

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The French have proposed two scenarios. The first would see the championship resume in late June/early July and go direct to the final stages of the season with the final played no later than July 18. The second scenario would see more matches played before the 2019/20 season would conclude in August prior to the launch of the new 2020/21 season.  

In a statement issued by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, president Paul Goze said: “Our wish is to be able to play the final phases of the 2019/20 season while maintaining the absolute priority of the health of the various players in the competitions and of the public, and by scrupulously respecting the health regulations of the public authorities. 

“Based on the preparatory work of the working groups, we have chosen two scenarios to compete in the final phases closing the 2019/20 TOP 14 and Pro D2 editions, one of which consists playing them at the end of the summer just before the start of the 2020/21 season in a format that will depend on the number of available dates.

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“We have given ourselves the time necessary to have all the elements of analysis – conditions of confinement communicated by the government, delay of preparation of the players after a confinement now increased to two months – to take the final decision. 

“After the collaborative work phase, which respects everyone’s concerns, we are now entering the time of the decision with measures that will be the responsibility of the steering committee and the general assembly of the LNR, in consultation with the FFR.”

 

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