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Scrumhalf market price to rocket in France amid spate of injuries

By Ian Cameron
Teddy Iribaren (Photo by Romain Biard/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

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The market value of scrumhalves in France has just been turned up to 11 after a spate of injuries to some of the Top 14’s best operators in the position.

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In the space of four days, both Racing 92 and Clermont have top class halfbacks – report Midi Olympique.

The Parisians will have to do without livewire number nine Teddy Iribaren, who ruptured cruciate ligaments last Thursday in training.

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Then on Saturday, Clermont’s Sébastien Bézy also seriously injured a knee in second half of his side’s clash against Montpellier.

The former Toulousain will undergo exams at the start of the week but it is feared that he will be spending a long time out of the game.

Both teams will now face returning to the market in search of scrumhalves, and they’re not the only ones, with Bordeaux-Bègles apparently also in the market for a nine.

The sudden demand for number nines will see a significant premium paid, certainly given the point in the season. Although other overseas territories are in their offseason, JIFF protocols mean it isn’t a foregone conclusion that they will look abroad.

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To meet the JIFF criteria, as French rugby expert James Harrington explained to RugbyPass previously, “a player must have spent at least three seasons in a French club’s academy before they had turned 21, or had been licensed to play in France for five seasons before the age of 23”. Top 14 clubs must now have at least 19 JIFF players in their 35-strong squads, and must select an average of 16 players in their match-day 23 across the season.

This means that there is huge pressure on the French clubs to seek out JIFF qualified players as opposed to shipping in expensive overseas players who have made their names in foreign leagues. Failure to hit the JIFF target can now result in points deductions.

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Scrumhalf market price to rocket in France amid spate of injuries

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