It’s been long known that the England and France’s clubs have been pushing for a condensed Six Nations.
It was reported by The Times this week that following a proposal put forward by the clubs to the RFU, England and France would not take part in the first round of games while Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy would all play on the opening weekend. This would then be followed by a full round of fixtures on the second weekend and a standalone France-England game on the third weekend.
However, it has been further reported by The Times today that England have been defeated in their aim for the proposed change due to France performing a u-turn of sorts by voting against the change, along with Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy at a Six Nations board meeting.
According to the report, the RFU’s desire for the change is heavily influenced by the ambitions of the Premiership clubs. The French clubs are also allegedly supportive of the move but the French Union voted against the proposal.
Ultimately, the players are strongly against any proposed changes which involve the loss of a rest weekend due to the rigorous and physically demanding nature of the tournament in its current guise.
Damian Hopley, Chief Executive of the Rugby Players Association (RPA), said that noone has asked the players their view in all of this and that all the opinions he has received from the players thus far are against the changes.
“The bottom line is, no one has asked the players.
“All the players I have spoken to have said they would struggle in condensing the Six Nations. Half the England squad have spoken up, all unprompted by us.”
The proposal is kaput for the moment it seems but one would expect this to reemerge in the future as both the English and French clubs aim to see their goal of a shorter Six Nations materialise.
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