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Six Nations chiefs draw up contingency plans over France participation

:Headline: Six Nations chiefs draw up contingency plans over France participation:
Ben Morel outlined his belief that the outstanding issue over travel restrictions to and from the UK would be finalised with the French government.
Sports Mole

Six Nations organisers have drawn up contingency plans as they seek clarification over the logistics of France's participation in the Championship just 10 days before it is scheduled to begin.

Speaking at the tournament's virtual launch, chief executive Ben Morel outlined his belief that the outstanding issue over travel restrictions to and from the UK would be finalised with the French government.

The Six Nations has strengthened its coronavirus protocols, including the addition of a second round of testing each week, to help convince Paris that the event can be staged safely.

Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel is confident France will take part as scheduled (Steve Paston/PA)

It was concerns over cross-border travel that saw the French government block their Top 14 clubs from competing in Europe this month.

Trips to European Union destinations Italy and Ireland have been given clearance, but the visit to England and the arrival of Scotland and Wales at the Stade de France are causing complications.

"All our protocols have been considered extremely robust and we are seeking clarification on the specific rules of quarantine exemptions," Morel said.

"We are awaiting clarification on entry from the UK and re-entry for the French team or other unions. We are confident we will get the right authorisation.

The two fallow weeks offer scope for this and the policy is a deviation from the Autumn Nations Cup when games were automatically cancelled with the winners awarded a 28-0 victory.

"We're all doing our best for that not to happen. We would treat every specific issue on a case-by-case basis. The primary focus would be to reschedule," Morel said.

"The reason why we went for immediate results during the Autumn Nations Cup was that it had to progress as a competition because there was a finals weekend.

"So an immediate result week after week was necessary. In the case of the Six Nations, we'd obviously want to protect the sporting integrity of the Championship as much as possible."

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last updated article - 2021-01-27 17:39:47:
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