The “Bleus” will be allowed to play all games of the Six Nations Rugby Championship only if health rules implemented are strict enough according to the government. So is the message sent this Tuesday January 12, 2021 to Six Nations Rugby Championship 2021 organizers by Sport Minister Roxana Maracineanu.
During an official tour of the Grand Palais Ephémère (provisional site of the upcoming Paris 2024 Games), the Sport Minister reviewed the organization of the tournament as it gathers the six best rugby nations in Europe every year. As for the game opposing France and Italy planned on February 6, 2021 in Rome, Italy, the Minster said it will take place. “We keep the first game” she says.
Games under high health pressure
Yet, things change when it comes to speak about the other games against Ireland and England, two countries where the new coronavirus strain is highly spreading. A variant of Covid-19 has been identified in the United-Kingdom earlier this year. The former swimmer keeps this danger in mind. “Yet, against Ireland and England, we absolutely need to make the necessary guarantees” the Minister says.
In concrete words, Roxana Maracineanu does not want the organizers of the Six Nations Rugby Championship to take risks with the French rugby team when it comes to health and safety. “We need necessary guarantees from the opposing teams to make sure of what we are doing, humanly and financially speaking, to enable our national teams to be awesome” the Minister says. The game against Ireland is to take place on February 14 in Dublin. Then, the French team will travel to England on March 13. “We expect the same thing from the other teams” the Minister concludes.
Furthermore, a meeting held this January 12, 2021 in the morning gathering the French Rugby Federation and representatives of the Sport minister decided to postpone the U20 and Women’s Six Nations Rugby Championship 2021. At the same time, the Sport Minister specifically asked Top 14 clubs not to play Champions CUP and European Cup games against British, Irish and Scottish clubs because of the English variant.