Wales will face France in deserted Paris over the announcement of the national curfew, the declaration of a state of emergency and the selection of 62 players


Wales’ autumn rugby match against France is set to take place on October 24, despite the city being completely shut down by the time the first whistle blows.French President Emmanuel Macron announced tonight that a curfew would be introduced, ordering people to stay home after 9 p.m. – the exact time the game against Wales will start in 10 days. A state of emergency in the country has been declared.

The announcement comes amid a huge increase in the number of coronaviruses in the country, with 22,951 additional infections confirmed on Wednesday. There were 19,724 new cases in the UK.

The curfew will go into effect from Saturday and last for at least four weeks, Macron said in a televised address to the nation.

It is a dispute between the French Rugby Federation and the Top 14 clubs, which had threatened the match, seems to be heading towards a resolution.

French clubs refused to release their players for the match, arguing that the planned six international matches were unacceptable. At one point, it even looked like France might have to field a team of U20s and second division players.

But L’Equipe are now reporting that a compromise will see France select two teams of 31 players for the six matches this fall, one group playing the first three matches and the other playing the second three. It remains to be seen what the makeup of those teams will be, with talks continuing late into Wednesday night.

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Wales will travel to Paris at the end of next week ahead of Saturday’s game.

The night curfew will apply to the capital Paris and its suburbs as well as to Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Saint-Étienne, Rouen, Toulouse, Grenoble and Montpellier.

Anyone breaking the curfew will be fined € 135 (£ 121).


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