The "Super Saturday" will take place: postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Six Nations Tournament will end well on Saturday, October 31, when the final victory will be played between England, France and Ireland.
Wales - Scotland for the appetizer (3.15 p.m.), Italy - England (5.15 p.m.) for a clearer view and France - Ireland (9.00 p.m.) for the final verdict: the rescheduling of the last day can make supporters and fans salivate around the world , deprived of rugby - except in New Zealand and Australia - since the new coronavirus brought the planet to a halt in March.
The threat of the second wave being more relevant than ever, it is still impossible to know how many spectators will be able to be accommodated in the stadiums. But for managers, coaches and players, this confirmation offers a horizon line and puts an end to months of waiting for international rugby.
. Three for the final victory
Who to succeed Wales, winner in 2019? Before their last match, England (1st, 13 points) is ahead of France (2nd, 13 too) with the benefit of a slight better overall difference (+15 against +13). The XV de la Rose can legitimately dream of a first title since 2017 since it faces Italy, the weakest nation. But beware, Ireland is in ambush because it has one game less to play the previous Saturday (October 24) against the same Italy.
A better victory and the XV of Trèfle will appear at the Stade de France with 14 points and the possibility of winning the bet in case of success. But the Blues, who see their first success since 2010, do not hear it that way. The victory could be played on the general difference between the winner in Saint-Denis and England.
Six months after the postponement of the match which was to be held on March 14, coach Fabien Galthié can finally tick a date in his calendar and continue his business of recovering a XV of France adrift under his predecessors.
The young team of captain Charles Ollivon, impressive against England (24-17) and Wales (27-23), has delivered a number of promises for the 2023 World Cup which will take place in France. Even if Antoine Dupont, Gaël Fickou and the others fell back into their failures in Scotland (28-17 defeat) for their last appearance before the brutal interruption of the Tournament.
. Another Tournament to follow?
What about the rest of the fall for the European selections? World Rugby opened the door to the organization of an unprecedented tournament, over 4 days from mid-November to early December, by amending rule 9 on Thursday which governs the availability of internationals, despite opposition from the Leagues French and English.
Concretely, the countries of the northern hemisphere will have an exceptional window of 6 matches over 7 weekends, against 3 usually, for the autumn tests. Enough to launch an unprecedented tournament, including the same six nations and two invited nations (Fiji, Japan or Georgia), in order to catch up with the canceled summer tours and to bail out the funds of the federations undermined by the health crisis.
The Top 14 clubs, which employ French internationals but also a number of foreigners (Fijians, Georgians, Argentines, South Africans ...) and are also suffering from the crisis, have denounced a "forced passage" and set the limit to 5 test-matches. But Bernard Laporte, the president of the French Federation (FFR), and Galthié are keen on their 6 matches, including the preparation one, against an opponent yet to be determined, wanted during the weekend of October 24.
. How many spectators?
While France - Ireland in March was to be sold out, or 80,000 spectators, how many will finally be able to fill the stands? The current tonnage decided by the government, in force until August 31, is 5,000 people with prefectural exemption depending on the health situation of the department ...
In any case, there should be no green in the Dionysian stands: the Irish Federation (IRFU) announced that the tickets provided for its supporters were canceled.
She did the same for the reception of Italy, stressing that it was "increasingly unlikely" that the Aviva Stadium would be full ... and this while the World Health Organization (WHO) has judged Wednesday "unrealistic" the holding of sporting events gathering large crowds in the coming months.
© 2020 AFP