Discussions on Six Nations will take place next week after the French government on Saturday recommended rugby clubs postpone upcoming European Cup matches with domestic British teams due to the new Covid-19 variant in the UK.
The decision raises doubts about the last two rounds of pool matches scheduled to start next weekend.
The meeting initiated by the French Ministry of Sports will talk about the annual international tournament which will start on February 6 with France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy.
“This new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has increased portability compared to those currently circulating in France, which then increases the risk of contamination,” a statement from AFP said.
This is why all trips or vacations to the UK are very poorly recommended.
“In the short term, the French government is leaning towards adopting measures that restrict or even prevent French clubs from participating in games against teams from the United Kingdom,” it added.
Last week, the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) and domestic competition organizers agreed to develop the protocol in the continental tournaments, which Top 14 clothing thought was too easy.
Six matches in the Champions and Challenge Cups from the previous season have already been canceled due to coronavirus cases among the troops.
After playing games against English sides in December, Bayonne and Pau recorded cases of the new variant among their lineups.
The Basque side had threatened to withdraw from the second-level Challenge Cup due to the pollution.
The president of the four-time European Cup winners Toulouse Didier Lacroix played down the current problems and said he hoped the tournament would end later this year.
“There is enough time to compensate for this competition,” he told AFP.
“I think it is a competition that is far from distorted right now, it will take place more with a knockout stage, with things a little harder,” he added.
Premier League doubt
The decision could affect football with seven English sides and a Scottish club that will take part in continental knockout games in February.
However, none of these games are against French opposition.
In addition, there is growing concern about whether the Premier League season can be completed on time due to the new variant. Newcastle boss Steve Bruce and Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa claim there is a moral argument for shutting down all matches
Several new studies – which have not yet been reviewed by colleagues – have concluded that the British variant of the disease is likely to be much more transmissible than other strains.
Much of the UK has been under lockdown since last week in an attempt to reduce the spiral of infection and death.
A total of 1325 new deaths within 28 days after a positive test were registered on Friday – the highest since the first wave peak in April last year.
On Saturday at 1100 GMT, the total number of deaths caused by coronavirus in the UK was 79,833, the highest fee in Europe.
On Thursday, the French Ministry of Health reported that two clusters of the British variant that affected a total of 19 people had been discovered in a nursing home in the western French region of Brittany and in Bagneux, a southern suburb of Paris.
Authorities found no evidence of any contact between one of the infected people in Bagneux and someone who had traveled from the UK, which the ministry said indicated that the mutant virus was already circulating in France.