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French government gives Six Nations the go-ahead

The France national team will be given a quarantine exemption for the competition, though the decision is being kept under review.

France coach Fabien Galtier.
France coach Fabien Galtier.
Image: Baratoux Loic/ABACA

THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT on Thursday gave its support to health protocols drawn up by Six Nations organisers which would allow the tournament to go ahead as planned despite the Covid-19 pandemic, sources confirmed to AFP.

This green light from the country’s sports ministry will allow an exemption from seven-day quarantine, a decision justified by the presence of a secure bubble and closer monitoring. 

This decision can, however, be revised in the event of the health situation deteriorating, the source said.

France are due to travel to face Italy on February 6, Ireland on February 14 and then England on March 13.

They have two home games against Scotland and Wales on February 28 and March 20 respectively.

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu had said she needed further “guarantees” from other governments to allow France to face Ireland and England.

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There were also concerns that both Scotland and Wales could have to isolate for a week prior to their matches.

However, France will now benefit from an exemption from quarantine on their return while Scotland and Wales will also be exempt when they travel to Paris.

The Six Nations’ traditional February-March slot came under a cloud when this month’s final two pool rounds of European club competition were cancelled after the French government said it was unsafe for French clubs to travel when a new Covid-19 variant was becoming increasingly widespread in Britain and Ireland.

 © – AFP, 2021

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey chat Six Nations and its future, the contractual bottleneck and French interest in Irish stars, Leone Nakarawa’s arrival in Belfast, and the poor standard of officiating in rugby :

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