Six Nations officials have confirmed that the postponed France versus Scotland match has officially been rearranged for Friday, March 26, in Paris with a 9pm local time kick-off. The February 28 round three fixture was called off due to a virus outbreak in the French ranks affecting a dozen players and four members of staff, including head coach Fabien Galthie.
There were initial fears that the back match might not be played until next summer, but it then emerged that March 26 would the likely date and tournament officials have at last signed off on that re-arrangement.
Scotland were in the dark as late as this Thursday afternoon’s team announcement to face Italy over when the France game would be going ahead. “Have we had any confirmation on when the France game will be played? No. We’re all hoping no news means good news,” said Gregor Townsend after unveiling an XV showing seven changes from the defeat to Ireland
“But you’d think that no news means nothing has been agreed yet. So, nothing official has been agreed and nothing unofficial. I think they would like to get the official announcement out as soon as possible but until then you know as much as me.”
The Six Nations statement which arrived later in the day confirming the date for the re-fixture made no mention, though, of whether the release of Scotland players who play their club rugby in England or France had been secured as the March 26 date falls outside the Test window governed by player release regulation nine.
One Premiership boss has admitted he is very much in the dark about the unconfirmed March 26 Six Nations re-fixture and what it means for his club#SixNations #FRAvSCO #PremRugbyhttps://t.co/2jnlyNwReY
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 17, 2021
Townsend wasn’t the only coach who knew nothing about the background discussions. Exeter boss Rob Baxter, who has three players away with Scotland, said on Wednesday: “I don’t know if talks are still ongoing, whether there has been a ‘this is what needs to happen’. I can’t quite fill you in.
“I imagine that Premiership Rugby will have made its stance on it to the Six Nations and it’s probably now for the Six Nations to either accept or decline it. That is what I imagine is what is happening.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 18, 2021
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