The French Rugby Federation and the National Rugby League have not yet been able to agree at the start of the week on the terms of the tour in Australia. The staff of the XV of France would like to have 42 players, against 35 beforehand, but the discussions, which could be successful, were cut short, pending the health green light from the Australian authorities.
A trip to the end of the world has to be earned! Because the tour in Australia of the XV of France (three tests on July 7, 13 and 17) is close to the health puzzle. If the agreement concerning the contingent of the Blues has been a source of negotiations for several days between the FFR and the LNR (we come back to this), these exchanges could not really advance at the beginning of the week. And for good reason: the French Federation is still waiting for its Australian counterpart to settle the precise terms of the fourteen tricolor internationals with their supervisory authorities.
Between the lines, without leaving their holiday resort, at least being able to train properly as part of the preparation for an international meeting and thus not be drastically confined in a hotel room twenty-four hours a day, like the tennis players who took part in the Australian Open at the start of the year. The planned meeting between representatives of the FFR, LNR, the Provale players’ union and that of the Tech XV clubs therefore came to an end on Monday evening. The participants agreed to keep time slots every night of the week depending on the evolution of Franco-Australian exchanges.
Then, it will be necessary to validate the number of players participating in the tour and their leave by following. Basically, the FFR-LNR convention provides for a contingent of 35 internationals and ten weeks without a match for them in stride. Given the drastic health conditions, which exclude any potential replacement of an injured player and the approximation of the tests, namely three in two weeks, which is not common and especially wearing out for the organizations, the staff of the Blues wishes to take 42 players.
Eight weeks without a match for the internationals and not ten
Compensation for the clubs would come from giving them an incompressible eight-week break, which would get them back to Top 14 business on Day 2 (not the fourth with ten weeks) of the 2021-2022 season. The remaining two weeks will then be given at the discretion of the club and the player concerned, later in the season. The clubs would be in favor of this scenario, especially as the finalists will not be affected by this tour. It remains to have the opinion of Provale, who still wanted a little time to probe the players in the field.
As for the composition of the group, we will have to wait for the verdict of the semi-finals, which will fall four days a priori before the departure of the delegation (the 23?), To refine the list. We can imagine that this southern tour could be confirmed during the week. The financial interest is great for the Australian federation. His government, although cautious about a possible upsurge of the virus there, is well aware of this.