News24

New France v Ireland date set

2012-02-14 19:45

Paris -The postponed Six Nations match between France and Ireland will now be played on March 4, the tournament's organising committee announced on Tuesday.

The game was supposed to have been played on Saturday but English referee Dave Pearson was forced to postpone the match minutes before the kick-off because parts of the Stade de France pitch were frozen and posed a danger to players.

Dubbing "very regrettable" the postponement that "left thousands of supporters disappointed and frustrated", the Six Nations Council said the game would now kick off at 15:00GMT on Sunday, March 4, at Stade de France.

"French and Irish ticket holders unable to attend the match will receive a full refund of their match ticket. Final details of the refund mechanism should be available tomorrow (Wednesday)," the council added.

Six Nations chief executive John Feehan said: "We are delighted that we have agreed a new date and time for the RBS 6 Nations France v Ireland match in the RBS 6 Nations window.

"We are also delighted that the FFR have announced a ticket refund scheme."

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) earlier said it wanted the game to be rescheduled for next season.

"France wants the match to be played next season due to the scheduling problems presented by the Top 14 (French domestic league)," said FFR chief Pierre Camou.

Certainly the rescheduling for March 4 does the Top 14 no favours, with leaders Toulouse hosting second-placed Clermont the day before, meaning both clubs will again be missing a raft of players for international duty.

Clermont president Rene Fontes, whose club will be now missing six players for the key Toulouse clash, said: "The consequences are always the same: financial and sporting.

"Unfortunately once again it is a fait accompli, they didn't take the club's interests into account."

It also means that both France and Ireland will have to play four consecutive weekends in the run-in to the Six Nations.

AFP