And what do we do now?

The second day of the Continental Games led to the mass postponement of Franco-British matches. Most ambiguity reigns before the third and fourth days, set for January.

A situation that brings back bad memories of last season. Seven matches on the second day of the European Rugby Cup were postponed on Friday due to travel restrictions between France and the United Kingdom. Whereas a few days earlier, other matches (notably Racing 92 and Montpellier’s) were cancelled. The sanctions took effect at midnight on Saturday and under these conditions, Leon traveled to Newport on Friday to face and defeat the dragons. What can we say, if not, about the visit of Castro who went to challenge Munster in Ireland, a country that is not only affected by these restrictions, but also by the spread of the virus. Totally inconsistent…

What caused the revolt of Castres President Pierre-Yves: “Postponing the whole day would have been more logical, understandable and clear. I would like to add that in terms of health, the situation in Ireland today is not really different from that of Great Britain. Therefore the difference in treatment is based on political and administrative considerations and not on health and is difficult to understand.

We will be able to adapt with great potential as there are still 5 weekends left between April 8th and the weekend of the finals in Marseille on 27th and 28th May 2022.

Anthony Lepage, CEO of EPCR

The main question that now remains unanswered is how and when will these postponed matches be played again in an already overloaded calendar. The EPCR is still looking for the parade. Thus, as its general manager Anthony Lepage explained in the column, TeamHe “There are various options available to us but it is too early to choose just one. We have to think about it and take a collective decision.” And to add: “Today our priority is on the weekend matches, which were important to play in good conditions and with strict respect to the health and safety of the players. We will be able to adapt with great potential as there will still be 5 weekends between 8 April and the final weekend in Marseille on 27 and 28 May 2022.

What about days 3 and 4 in January?

There are now many voices calling for these postponed matches to be played in April, instead of the Round of 16 first leg (April 8–10), and the Round of 16 to be played on dry matches (15–17 April). Why not… “The EPCR will provide further information at the earliest and will be in direct contact with all clubs, leagues and other stakeholders.“, said the European body at the time of the postponement announcement.

More worryingly, what about the rest of the continental competition? Because already the question arises of organizing matches on the third and fourth days of the European Cup which will come very quickly, the weekend of 14 to 16 January and then the next one (21–23 January). Until then, it is difficult to see the sanctions between France and the United Kingdom being lifted. Do we take the same and postpone again?

In a little over three weeks, Toulouse should go to Wasps in Coventry, Racing 92 should go to Welsh Osprey, La Rochelle should get to Bath, Stade Français should go to Bristol, UBB welcomes Welsh Scarlets and Clermont goes for sale on the outskirts. of Manchester. The new formula for the European Cup with knockout stages back and forth is already in shambles. The EPCR has to address this critical situation at the earliest. Those who remember, alas, the streets of last season.

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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