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France Will Play Their First Ever Six Nations Home Match Outside Of Paris Next Year

Preparations for the 2018 Six Nations gets underway in earnest with the beginning of the November internationals over the next couple of weeks. 

Coaches will get a chance to run the rule over their squads as they welcome top-quality southern hemisphere opposition to Europe. 

For France, they will face the All Blacks twice before taking on the Springboks and Japan. It doesn’t get much tougher than that for Guy Noves’ side and those matches will certainly separate the men from the boys within his squad.

The French have three home games in the 2018 Six Nations against Ireland, England and Italy but their clash against Conor O’Shea’s side will not take place in the regular surroundings of the Stade de France. According to Ben Coles of The Telegraph, France will travel down to the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles to take on the Azzurri. 

The stadium was recently renovated for Euro 2016 and it is now the country’s second largest stadium with a capacity of 67,000. The venue isn’t unfamiliar with rugby, however, the stadium held the TOP 14’s two semi-finals last season and Toulon will also play a fixture there this season. 

France get their Six Nations campaign underway with a clash against Joe Schmidt’s Ireland on February 3 in Paris. 

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter