France stresses on safety assurances from England, Ireland ahead of Six Nations
PARIS (FRANCE) – The French government said it needs assurances from England and Ireland regarding safety for the national rugby union team to travel for Six Nations matches during the COVID-19 pandemic.
French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu said France’s opener against Italy in Rome on Feb. 6 had been approved.
France is slated to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on February 14 and England at Twickenham on March 13.
Maracineanu told reporters, “We keep the first match. On the other hand, against Ireland and England we absolutely need to have the necessary guarantees from these countries.”
“There has to be proof that the other nations’ virus framework respects the same requirements in terms of precaution. We expect the same thing from the other teams.”
The British government has given permission for elite sport to continue in spite of the country being in a strict lockdown amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been postponed after the French government recommended games against British clubs be suspended.
French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte, however, said he was hopeful that the Six Nations would go ahead as planned.