French rugby chiefs strike deal over extended Test window

Paris (AFP) –


French rugby chiefs on Thursday reached a compromise which will allow the national side to play all six games of the extended autumn Test window, but capped at three the matches a player can appear in, sources said.

The French rugby league (LNR), which runs the lucrative Top 14 and second division ProD2, has been at loggerheads with the French rugby federation (FFR) over the World Rugby-sanctioned increase in Tests following the coronavirus shutdown.

France will host Wales in a warm-up on October 24 before finishing off their Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland a week later and then play four games in the newly-created Autumn Nations Cup from November 14-December 5.

The LNR had insisted the number of games be capped at five and even launched an appeal -- which was rejected -- in France's highest administrative court.

In the compromise, announced Thursday after negotiations between the two warring parties, the bodies also agreed to cap France match-day squads at 31.

France coach Fabien Galthie intially wanted 42-strong squads.

The France squad to face Wales in the opening game is expected at Les Bleus' training camp in Marcoussis, south of Paris, from Monday.

Galthie named five uncapped players in his squad to play Wayne Pivac's Welsh team.

Prop Georges-Henri Colombe Reazel and centre Olivier Klemenczak have been rewarded for their performances as Racing 92 reached the European Champions Cup final.

Lyon lock Killian Geraci, Toulouse No 8 Selevasio Tolofua and La Rochelle winger Arthur Retiere are also international newcomers named in the squad.