The RBS 6 Six Nations council has announced that the postponed France v Ireland match will now take place on Sunday 4 March at 4pm local time (3pm GMT), at the Stade de France. It was also confirmed that ticket holders who are unable to attend the match will be entitled to a full refund for their tickets, details of which will be made available on Wednesday.
However, the IRFU have expressed their disappointment with the decision to hold the game on the Sunday afternoon, and not on their preferred date of Saturday 3 March, which would have given the Irish team a longer turnaround before they face Scotland the following Saturday. Ireland host Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 25 February, and will also face Scotland in Dublin, but the postponement of their match in Paris means that both teams will have to play fixtures on four consecutive weekends, giving Ireland just 6 days to travel home from Paris for the second time, and prepare to face Scotland.
A statement from the IRFU said: “While understanding the difficulties that a postponed game brings to the international and club rugby schedule, the IRFU had proposed to the Six Nations that the preferred alternate date for the game would be Saturday, 3rdMarch with an afternoon kick off.
“This was based on providing the Ireland team, who will be travelling for a second time to Paris, with a seven day turnaround between its remaining four fixtures in the tournament as well as providing any supporters wishing to attend the rescheduled game with an appropriate window of travel.”
France, in contrast, will play Scotland in Edinburgh seven days before and England in Paris seven days after they face Ireland, giving them a full week’s turnaround in between games. They also have the luxury of not having to travel in between fixtures, when both teams should have been enjoying a weekend off as per the tournament’s original schedule. It will also make travelling to the game more difficult for fans hoping to retain their tickets, and it is yet to be seen how many will request a refund from the FFR.
Click here to find out how to claim your ticket refund.