Six Nations Rugby: France seeks guarantees of safety for England and Eire matches

The French government is seeking guarantees from England and Ireland that it is safe 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 February 6th had been cleared, however the games against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on the 14th and England at Twickenham on March 13th are in question.

“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,” Maracineanu said.

The British government has allowed elite sport to continue despite the country being placed into strict lockdown amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Several nations have recently closed their borders to Britain after new variants of coronavirus were identified.

The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been suspended after the French government recommended games against British clubs be postponed.

French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte, however, said he remained optimistic the Six Nations would go ahead as scheduled.

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