France v Wales in danger as FFR clash with Top 14

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There is still confusion over whether France will play six test matches this fall, starting with the October 24 friendly against Wales in Paris, due to an ongoing row with the 14 clubs in the Top 14.The Council of State of France has ruled against the request for interim relief filed by the National Rugby League – on behalf of the Top 14 – against the French Rugby Federation, which wants players available from October 19 to December 5.

However, rather than this decision on Friday paving the way for the FFR to move forward with their six-game plan, it was highlighted in his result that an agreement has yet to be reached between the FFR and the NRL.

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As it stands, the NRL has only accepted a three-game, four-week window, and although there have been previous indications that they would likely accept five games due to the postponement of the Six Nations 2020 delayed with Ireland and introduction. Fall Nations Cup unique in four games, no deal was ever formally reached and the scheduling of Game 6 with Wales only exacerbated the predicament.

In a statement, the FFR welcomed the decision of the Council of State in the interest of French rugby, saying it would allow the management of the France team to have its players from October 19 to 5. December, as defined by World Rugby Rule 9.

However, L’Equipe reported that nothing was certain as the decision of the administrative court did not leave a free hand to the FFR. On the contrary, he referred the FFR and the LNR to the convention that binds them on the subject of the provision of internationals and new discussions are now likely.

The summary judge wrote: “To allow the extension of the period of availability, such as the number of matches likely to be played, a modification of the relevant provisions of the agreement between the Federation and the League is contrary to what is argued the Federation. , necessary. These modifications can only be made by joint decision of the Federation and the League. ”

Several meetings between the leaders of the two bodies had already taken place on the autumn calendar before the intervention of the Council of State on Friday, but no agreement was found. The Council of State also stressed that the regulations of World Rugby could not affect national law and that it was up to French decision-makers (the League and the Federation) to reach an agreement.

“The Federation’s intention (to widen the international window) cannot as it stands be considered a unilateral decision. The Council of State therefore does not consider that the FFR can impose its own calendar ”, we read in the judgment.

The FFR schedule covers matches against Wales (October 24), Ireland (October 31), Fiji (November 15), Scotland (November 22), Italy (November 28) and a opponent to be determined (December 5).

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