EPCR gets green light for French travel in next two rounds of pool matches

Clubs to be given exemptions for 'pursuit of an economic activity'

Glasgow Warriors play Le Rochelle on 22nd January. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Glasgow Warriors play La Rochelle on 22nd January. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

EPCR has confirmed that the round three and four pool stage matches of the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup are set to go ahead over the next two weekends as scheduled. Glasgow Warriors are due to host La Rochelle in their final pool match 22nd January, while Edinburgh host CA Brive the night before.

Last month, seven fixtures between French and UK teams were hastily postponed after the government in Paris suddenly imposed tough new border controls in response to the surge in the Omicron variant of Covid.

“Following dialogue with the leagues and unions, EPCR has been informed that exemptions for what is termed the ‘pursuit of an economic activity’ which have been put in place by the French government will apply to clubs and match officials who are travelling between France and the UK,” said a statement from the tournament organisers.

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“Further information will also be sought from the French authorities regarding possible new conditions which may be applicable to travel between France and the UK.”

“While recognising that these are particularly challenging times for all its stakeholders, EPCR will continue to work with the leagues and unions so that this month’s matches can be played safely.

“The leading eight Heineken Champions Cup clubs from each of the pools will qualify for the knockout stage, and with 10 clubs progressing to the Challenge Cup Round of 16, plus a further six qualifiers from the Heineken Champions Cup ahead of the Marseille finals next May, EPCR is optimistic that this season’s tournaments will be played to a successful conclusion.

“In addition, discussions are ongoing regarding the five Heineken Champions Cup and two Challenge Cup Round 2 fixtures which were postponed due to unforeseen circumstances arising from changes to border controls between France and the UK. No further comment will be made at this time.”

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About David Barnes 2990 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.