Paul Goze, the president of the National Rugby League. - FRANCK FIFE / AFP
The National Rugby League (LNR) denounced Saturday on Twitter a "passage in force" of World Rugby and the federations on the autumn tests, doubled compared to the usual window to catch up with the games canceled because of the health crisis .
"More than 100 days without internationals is the equivalent of a season with the World Cup" during which the clubs are deprived of their best players for about four months, writes the body which manages French professional rugby (Top 14 and Pro D2) two days after World Rugby's decision to extend to 7 weekends, including 1 rest, the international autumn window so that the selections can play 6 matches against 3 in normal times.
A strong move to international matches in the fall goes against the strong partnership between the XV of France and the TOP 14 clubs that French rugby needs, particularly at 3 years of the World Cup in France.- National Rugby League (@LNRofficiel) August 1, 2020
The response is organized
The FFR (French Rugby Federation) chaired by Bernard Laporte, himself vice-president of World Rugby, and coach Fabien Galthié intend to use the whole of this window to revive a XV of France stopped dead in its tracks in early March and to replenish a cash flow damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The clubs and the LNR have proposed a united approach to the FFR with 5 international matches in the fall, against 3 initially planned", recalls the LNR in its first official reaction since the modification Thursday by World Rugby of rule 9 which governs the availability of internationals.
A partnership in danger?
“To play the Top 14 without the internationals for more than 100 days would be a hard blow, sporting and economic, for the clubs, the subscribers, the partners and all the fans”, protests the NRL which addressed a formal notice to World Rugby , first step towards a possible legal response.
“A strong move to international matches in the fall goes against the strong partnership between the XV of France and the Top 14 clubs that French rugby needs, particularly three years before the World Cup in France », Finally warns the NRL. The clubs had reached out to Galthié when he took office by authorizing the coach to mobilize 42 players instead of 31 for the Six Nations Tournament, a weapon for the negotiations to come.
Fall Tests: World Rugby Offers Six Weekend International Window