France Six Nations squad to be cut to 31

Paris (AFP) –


France's Six Nations squad will be cut by a quarter to 31 after an agreement Saturday between the French rugby union federation (FFR) and the body running professional rugby in France, the LNR.

France coach Fabien Galthie had called up 42 players (with five as training partners) to gather for a Nice training camp before taking on Italy in Rome on February 6.

That number will now be cut to 31 for the eight-week-long championship.

"The health situation tied to the Covid-19 pandemic requires new measures to be taken to limit the risks associated with the movement of players coming into and leaving the France squad for the period of the Six Nations championship," the FFR and LNR said in a joint statement.

"At the request of the FFR, the FFR and the LNR have therefore agreed to make available a squad which will be set at 31 players from the week of January 31 and for the entire period of the championship."

The two bodies insisted that "adjustments will remain possible", notably for injured players.

Any new player joining up with the reduced squad will have to respect the current Six Nations Covid-19 protocol in order to preserve the squad's "bubble".