Rugby. Top 14, Tournament, European Cup … Between postponements and duplicates, what will the calendar look like?

Rugby.  Top 14, Tournament, European Cup ... Between postponements and duplicates, what will the calendar look like?

Seven top 14 matches postponed for review

European Cups: Optimistic in the coming days

The only good news in recent days came from the EPCR, the manager of the European Rugby Cups, who announced on Friday that the three- and four-day matches scheduled for January 14-23 would “go as expected”.

Due to travel restrictions between the continent and the United Kingdom, the body had to postpone seven matches from the second day of December (five for the European Cup and two for the European Challenge).

Toulouse (between wasps), Racing 92 (against Osprey), French Stadium (in Bristol) so this weekend the European Cup should be able to cross the channel, while Toulon should be able to fly to Worcester as part of the European Challenge.

Top 14: Seven reports … including three for Toulon

A “devil” who comforts French clubs, at least one match in the league due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and ten of the elite fourteen behind the national rugby affiliate protocol (LNR).

In total, since the start of the season, seven games have been postponed, with only three for Toulon: four from the 13th day (“Boxing Day”), one on the 14th and two on the 15th.

Last year it was pretty bad

It’s nothing compared to the 48 matches that were postponed last season, combining the Top 14 and Pro D2, but still: where do they fit in with the busy schedule between the tournament (February 5 – March 19) and the European Cup?

“There is no free weekend on the calendar outside of the international era,” recalls LNR Director General Emmanuel Eschalier at the end of December.

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When to play? “No suitable solution”

To play rescheduled matches, there are only two solutions: either play on the weekends of international matches, play for clubs with lots of international competitions with sports deficiencies, or on weekdays, an option that includes the role of problems. The impact of sports, ”he added. “There is no suitable solution”.

Playing during the week when players’ bodies are at risk, the options selected are: February 12-13, the 2nd day of the tournament at the same time as France-Ireland; March 12-13, Friday evening after Wales-France; The famous “crunch” between the Blues and England on March 19-20, the last day of the tournament.

Decisions by the weekend

Unfair duplicates for formations such as the Toulouse, which supplies many players to XV in France, may not have all their living powers at these dates.

According to a source familiar with the subject, a decision on whether to postpone the seven best 14 matches should be made on Thursday or Friday. The EPCR said it was “in talks” about seven European Cup matches.

The most likely option is to play them on April 8-10, with the slot initially planned for the first 16 rounds, which will only be moved to play eighth in next week’s dry match.

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