French clubs want Ireland game in June


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The Independent Online

The Six Nations Committee will today move to snuff out a French club rebellion and reschedule Saturday's postponed international between France and Ireland for 4 March. The French Rugby League has written to the committee, pointing out that 10 of the Top 14 weekends this season already clash with international fixtures and asking for the France-Ireland game to be held over until June, when the French club season ends. Understandably, the authorities are determined to avoid that scenario and will insist on the game taking place on the spare weekend between what would have been the third and fourth round of matches.

The committee met yesterday and decided there would not be time to arrange the match for this weekend. This means France and Ireland will be forced to play matches on four successive weekends, a run which will not impress the French coach, Philippe Saint-André.

Another bone of contention is the ticket arrangements. The Irish Rugby Football Union wants the estimated 5,000 Irish fans who had tickets for the original fixture to be reimbursed, while the French merely want those tickets to be valid for the rearranged international. An IRFU spokesman said: "It is entirely up to the French federation with regard to refunds. The communication was that the game was being rescheduled, so tickets will be accepted for the second game."