"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 National Rugby League (LNR), the body which manages French professional rugby (Top 14 and Pro D2), on Twitter. On Thursday, World Rugby decided to extend to 7 weekends, including 1 of rest, the international autumn window so that the selections can play 6 matches against 3 in normal times.
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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.
"Sporting and economic hard blow for the clubs"
"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 passage in force on the international matches in the autumn goes against the strong partnership between the XV of France and the clubs of Top 14 which French rugby needs, particularly at 3 years of the World Cup in France ", finally warns the NRL.
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 clubs had extended a hand to Fabien 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.