Paris (AFP)

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) will participate in a conciliation meeting with the League on Monday to try to amicably settle a dispute over the availability of internationals in the fall, the vice-president told AFP. from the FFR, Serge Simon.

"From the start, we thought things were easier than they seemed. There are six matches to play and we think that we will find very operational solutions between staffs (...) We are optimistic ", explained Serge Simon.

The Top 14 clubs and the LNR have threatened to seize the Council of State if they do not obtain concessions from the Federation on the duration of the provision of internationals.

Top 14 leaders have agreed to release the players for five matches during the autumn international window (October 24 - December 6) but the XV of France must play six games.

"This calendar is decreed by World Rugby and decided by all the federations of the world. We have six matches to honor and of course we will honor them. Just sit around a table and we will find ways to play these matches there, "said the vice-president of the FFR.

Serge Simon said he was "surprised" by the ultimatum of the LNR and the Top 14 clubs. "There is a kind of gap between the question asked and the incredible deployment of legal and judicial means launched by the LNR ", he said, referring to the two proceedings already initiated by the LNR against World Rugby.

To allow federations to replenish their coffers damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, the governing body of world rugby decided at the end of July to extend the international autumn window from three to six weekends.

France are set to play a warm-up match on October 24 against Wales and then host Ireland in their final match of the 2020 Six Nations Tournament on October 31, before playing four more matches in the Autumn Nations Cup, an eight-team competition launched this season.

"There are a lot of foreign players who will be selected by their country for this autumn window" and who are also playing in the Top 14, said Serge Simon.

"This is a question that goes far beyond the small Franco-French ecosystem," he concluded.

© 2020 AFP