Six Nations agreement reached in France to ensure no repeat of Autumn Nations Cup friction
Rugby officials in France have reached agreement on player availability for the upcoming Six Nations, an encouraging sign following last autumn’s rancour which caused friction between the FFR and the Top 14 and ultimately led to a limit on a player’s game time. This resulted in a much-changed XV taking the field a Twickenham for the final versus England.
There will be no limit on a player’s game time for the upcoming tournament which starts away to Italy on February 6, while an agreement has also been reached on how many players Fabien Galthie must release back to clubs following training earlier in the week.
An FFR statement read: “During the first week of training from January 24 to 31 and then during each of the five weeks ending with a Six Nations match for France, 42 players will be made available to the FFR on Sunday evening until Wednesday evening.
“This includes 37 players likely to be selected for the weekend’s France match, including 28 kept until Sunday and nine made available to clubs from Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
“Five players will also be selected as ‘training partners’ after consultation with the management of the club concerned. The training partners are chosen from the clubs with a maximum of one player in the list of 37 selected for the week concerned and may be called upon in four sequences during the tournament. These players will join their club on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
Peace accord at last in France https://t.co/JxYg0IduRQ
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“During the weeks of February 15 to 21 and March 1 to 7 at the end of which there is no France match, the 28 players selected for the previous weekend’s match will remain together until Wednesday evening. On Wednesday evening, the FFR will designate from this group of 28 players the five players who will be made available to their clubs for Top 14. The 23 other players will be left to rest.”
It was also agreed that a top-three finish for France in the Six Nations tournament will result in a portion of the prize money being given to the LNR. FFR boss Bernard Laporte said: “The FFR thanks the professional clubs for their support. Our national team plays for all French people. It is the first showcase of our sport and all French rugby benefits from its performance.
“In view of the imminent preparation for the 2021 Six Nations tournament, we hope that this performance partnership can meet the requirements of the international level while respecting the sporting balance of professional clubs. French rugby is never as strong as when it is united. It is in this direction that we must continue to move with the common objective of achieving the essential sporting deadlines to prepare for the World Cup in France.”
LNR president Paul Goze added: “This agreement mobilises all the clubs of the Top 14 behind the performance of the France XV. It also takes better account of the sporting balances of the clubs and allows them to gain visibility in the management of the workforce during the tournament period.”
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