Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

'There is a first resumption date set for April 15, but it does not seem to be very credible'

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

France rugby’s leading club official has called on EPCR to officially postpone the scheduled April 3/4/5 dates for the Heineken Champions and Challenge Cup tournaments. Matches are due to be staged in Exeter, Clermont, Dublin and Toulouse in the Champions Cup on the weekend of April 4/5, with Challenge Cup games fixed for Toulon, Leicester, Bordeaux and Bristol from April 3.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, Paul Goze, the president of Ligue Nationale de Rugby, wants EPCR to abandon its current wait-and-see approach and postpone all the quarter-final matches as soon as possible. “We ask the EPCR to take a decision as soon as possible, that is to say within the next two or three days on the suspension of the quarter-finals,” said Goze in an AFP newswire story carried on rugbyrama.fr.

Israel Dagg, Ali Williams, Mils Muliaina and Angus Ta’avao join Kirstie Stanway for another episode of The Kick-Off

Video Spacer

“It is up to the EPCR to make this decision, not us. We do not have the power to decide on the suspension of European competitions. The French clubs being at a standstill, without a championship… it does not seem possible to me that we can make the quarters of European Cups but it is up to the EPCR to make the decision formally.”

French rugby opted on Friday to indefinitely suspend its Top 14 and PRO D2 championships in reaction to coronavirus pandemic.

The previous day, following an announcement by the Guinness PRO14 that it was calling an indefinite halt to its tournament, an EPCR statement read: “An update regarding the matches will be communicated as soon as practicable.

“EPCR remains fully supportive of the preventative measures which have been introduced to date in the interest of overall public health and will respect further directives by governments and local authorities.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In France, April 15 has been a date suggested for the resumption of its domestic championships, but Goze wasn’t optimistic this will happen.

“There is no resumption date,” he said. “Depending on the date, there are things you can do or not do. There is a first date set for April 15, but it does not seem to be very credible that all of the measures will be lifted at that time.

“We will wait to have details, which will surely come in the coming weeks. We will move forward in the pandemic so we can see how it evolves. We will then be able to see what are the conditions for resuming competition. The goal is to play the semi and finals on the scheduled dates.

“All the hypotheses are on the table to finish. It’s all going to work, I don’t have an answer today… but we are thinking about how to end the season. We are optimistic: we tell ourselves that the final phases are in three months.

ADVERTISEMENT

“By then, we can reasonably think that the pandemic will have decreased in intensity and that we will be able to have a certain number of dates allowing us an end of the sports season. Only the evolution of the pandemic will tell us if we will be able to put everything in place.”

WATCH: This is what happened when RugbyPass drove Shane Williams around the capital of Wales

Video Spacer
ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

S
Shaylen 51 minutes ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

12 Go to comments
J
Jon 6 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING 'I struggle to say Antoine Dupont is the greatest of all time' 'I struggle to say Antoine Dupont is the greatest of all time'
Search