Bernard Laporte, the president of the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR), has confirmed that the postponed 2020 Guinness Six Nations match between France and Ireland has been rescheduled for October 31st in the Stade de France.
That date, coming just before the November Test window, has long been anticipated as the likeliest solution for the game to go ahead. Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Corsican League on Sunday, Laporte was asked if the Six Nations would be completed this year, and said: “Yes, France-Ireland is announced for October 31.”
World Rugby will decide on a revised international window for the end of the year on July 30th, but significantly – aside from being the president of the FFR – Laporte was recently elected unopposed as vice-president of the game's governing body in the election which saw Bill Beaumont re-elected as president ahead of Agustin Pichot.
Laporte’s comments fuel the likelihood of the postponed Six Nations game between Ireland and Italy, which was called off at a few days notice last March, being rearranged for October 24th at the Aviva Stadium, the date which has been set aside for that encounter.
The other Six Nations matches which fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wales-Scotland and Italy-England, will thus presumably be accommodated on those last two weekends of October as well. An eight-nation tournament involving the countries from the Six Nations and two others, most probably Fiji and Georgia, divided into two groups of four, is being pencilled in for the remainder of an extended Test window.
Of course, a la the cross-border conclusion to the Heineken Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup, all these rearranged games hinge on the ever-changing scenarios regarding travel restrictions.