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Top 14 gives green light for 5 autumn internationals

J K

Jun. 28, 2020

Top 14 club presidents have voted unanimously to extend the international autumn Test window to five weeks instead of the normal three, but one less than the six wanted by the French rugby union federation (FFR).
The French international XV, already slated to play three Tests on successive weekends starting 7 November, against Georgia, Australia and South Africa, will now have two extra dates: 31 October and 28 November.
The first extra date would likely see France play Ireland in their final Six Nations match, while there are some doubts over participation of southern hemisphere teams because of protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic.
In light of that Covid-19 outbreak, the FFR wants the Test window extended to six matches, with France playing against England, Ireland and twice versus Scotland, along with two other teams yet to be decided.
The FFR has also refused to as yet validate the Top 14 calendar for 2020/21 amid a tug-of-war over time international players spend away from their clubs.
"This point of balance was found with, exceptionally, two more international matches in autumn 2020.
"For the health of international players, for the financial balances of the clubs and the FFR, this is the best possible compromise. We hope that this proposal will lead to a rapid agreement."
Goze continued: "Solidarity must go in both ways.
"French rugby relies on a network of professional clubs whose economic and sporting health is essential."
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