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French federation backs calls to play Ireland next season - reports

FFR president Pierre Camou concedes that their request to have Saturday’s abandoned Six Nations match deferred is unlikely to be granted.

Last-minute efforts to heat the Stade de France pitch on Saturday were unsuccessful.
Last-minute efforts to heat the Stade de France pitch on Saturday were unsuccessful.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

THE FRENCH RUGBY FEDERATION (FFR) is supporting a move to defer their Six Nations rematch against Ireland until next season, according to reports in France this morning.

At a press conference today, FFR President Pierre Camou said that France would like to push the game back in order to avoid a clash with the domestic Top 14 season, L’Equipe reports.

But, Camou added, it is unlikely their wish will be granted by the Six Nations Council, which hopes to provide “comprehensive clarification” on a new date for the game after further meetings today.

Saturday’s match at the Stade de France was called off minutes before kick-off when referee Dave Pearson ruled the Parisian pitch unplayable due to freezing conditions.

The weekend of 3/4 March is still thought to be the most likely option, despite a request lodged yesterday by the French Rugby League who want the match postponed until after the Top 14 season ends on 9 June.

Speaking to The Irish Times this morning, IRFU communications manager Karl Richardson said that refixing the game for September “isn’t really an option.”

An update issued by the FFR yesterday indicated that it would “unfortunately” not be possible to refund travel and accommodation expenses for those who travelled to Paris for Saturday’s game.

Tickets for Saturday’s postponed game will be eligible for the refixed date, the FFR confirmed. A ticket refund process is due to be put in place for fans who are unable to attend on the new date, whenever that may be.

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Niall Kelly

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