The final-round fixture is being switched from Lille due to quarantine regulations
France v Ireland Women’s Six Nations match moved to Dublin
Next weekend’s France v Ireland fixture in the Women’s Six Nations has been moved from Lille to Dublin after quarantine requirements had put the match in doubt.
The match was due to take place at Stadium Lille Métropole on Sunday 1 November but will now be played in Dublin after the French team agreed to travel to Ireland.
Had the match taken place in France, the Ireland players would have had to isolate for 14 days upon their return, which presented problems due to their work and family commitments.
The guidance from the Ireland Government means elite and high-performance teams who return to Ireland from a country that is not on the Green List is to restrict their movements for two weeks, aside from sporting activity like training and competing.
This is fine for the men’s professional players, who play France in Paris next Saturday night, but causes difficulties for the amateur women’s team, especially as many of the players work in teaching and medicine.
As the France women’s team can travel to and from Ireland without having to isolate on their return, they have agreed to play their final Six Nations fixture in Dublin.
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: “We are extremely grateful to the French federation and their women’s team for this superb act of solidarity with the Ireland women’s team and IRFU. To experience such generosity of spirit is uplifting and goes to the very heart of what the sport of rugby, and the Six Nations, is all about.
“Over the past weeks, we were in regular contact with Sport Ireland and the Expert Group on Return to Sport regarding a possible derogation for the women’s national team from the established guidelines. With Ireland entering a Level Five lockdown we fully accepted the decision not to grant a derogation on the travel restrictions for elite amateur athletes.
“We now look forward to hosting the French women’s XV and the fixture here in Dublin, and both teams can get back to concentrating on rugby.”
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