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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Frosty welcome: Clerc warns that Stade de France pitch could be unplayable

Scared, Vincent?

Vincent Clerc, left, and former French team-mate Clement Poitrenaud arrive for training in the snow.
Vincent Clerc, left, and former French team-mate Clement Poitrenaud arrive for training in the snow.
Image: FRANCOIS MORI/AP/Press Association Images

FREEZING TEMPERATURES IN Paris could jeopardize Saturday’s Six Nations clash between Ireland and France at the Stade de France, Vincent Clerc warned today.

France has been affected by a cold snap spreading across northern Europe this week, and temperatures dropped as low as -2°C last Saturday afternoon when France opened their campaign with a 30-12 win against Italy.

Some parts of the pitch were frozen last weekend, Clerc told reporters, adding that the playing surface could be “dangerous” by Saturday night if the cold weather continues.

“If it’s minus seven [°C] on Saturday, there is reason for concern over the frozen pitch. It was already frozen when we played Italy. The parts near the touchline were frozen,” the winger said (Reuters).

The Stade de France pitch has been covered to protect against frost, and the French Rugby Federation said that hot-air blowers will be used to bring the surface temperature up to 3°C.

One game which has already fallen foul of the weather is Munster’s RaboDirect Pro12 meeting with Aironi, which was scheduled to take place in Viadana on Sunday.

Heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures forced the game to be postponed, and it will be refixed for a later date in due course.

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Niall Kelly

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