Coronavirus: French Sports Ministry wants to postpone rugby matches against British clubs | Rugby news

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Concerns over the new strain of coronavirus prompted the Ministries of the Interior, Health and Sports to hold talks with the EPCR, which runs the Heineken Champions and Challenge Cups, and LNR, the representative body of the Top 14

Last updated: 09/01/21 21:03 pm



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French Sports Ministry recommends matches against UK teams postponed due to new strain of Covid-19

French Sports Ministry recommends matches against UK teams postponed due to new strain of Covid-19

The French Sports Ministry recommends that matches against British clubs in this season’s European competitions be postponed due to issues surrounding Covid-19, according to sources in France.

“The Ministry of Sports is writing this weekend to the National Rugby League (LNR) to invite it to postpone the next matches including French clubs (against British clubs), in accordance with the wishes expressed by several French professional rugby clubs in recent days, ”the ministry wrote in a statement to Reuters.

Concerns over the new strain of coronavirus prompted the Ministries of the Interior, Health and Sports to hold talks with the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), which manages the Heineken Champions and Challenge Cups, and LNR , the representative body of the Top 14.

Toulon chose not to play in last month's Champions Cup game against the Scarlets due to Covid-19 issues

Toulon chose not to play in last month’s Champions Cup game against the Scarlets due to Covid-19 issues

If French clubs are unable to participate in the last two rounds of group stage matches, the competitions could be suspended.

Another possible outcome is the cancellation of a number of matches, an action plan that would damage the credibility of the tournaments.

If the Top 14 clubs do not compete this month – Bayonne and Toulon have already threatened to withdraw – it could have implications for the Six Nations.

A spokesperson for the EPCR said: “The EPCR is aware of a formal communication which was sent by the French authorities to the LNR this evening (Saturday 9 January) concerning the participation of the 14 best clubs in Heineken Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup.

“No directive has been given and the French government has asked the LNR for its position on the protocols of its clubs participating in EPCR tournaments in the context of the recent detection of a new strain of coronavirus in France.

“The EPCR will now discuss this matter with the NRL as soon as possible before making any further comments. ”

The Six Nations begin on February 6 when France faces Italy in Rome

The Six Nations begin on February 6 when France faces Italy in Rome

The Sports Ministry added that it would organize a specific meeting on the Six Nations early next week, without specifying who would attend.

France will play their first two away games next month – against Italy on February 6 and Ireland on February 14. They are also due to face England at Twickenham on March 13.

A statement from the Six Nations said: “We are planning to hold the championship as planned in each country with the Covid-19 protocols which were tightened from the October / November period which saw the successful conclusion of the Guinness 2020 Six Nations and the Fall Nations Cup. ”

Earlier this week, France’s health ministry said 22 cases of new variants of the coronavirus had been detected in France.

The ministry also said in a statement that two high-risk clusters that could include the new variant of Covid-19 first detected in Britain had been discovered in the Brittany and Paris regions.



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