SCOTLAND head coach Gregor Townsend has called on Six Nations Rugby to make sure that he can have all his leading players available to play against France, whenever the match is re-arranged.
The round three clash, which was supposed to be played on Sunday, had to be postponed earlier today due to an on-going Covid outbreak in the French camp.
Rescheduling the match for next weekend could leave Scotland short of around 10 English-based players, including captain Stuart Hogg and second-row stalwart Jonny Gray (because of World Rugby’s Regulation Nine protocol which identifies specific windows in which clubs must release players for international duty). As it stands, Finn Russell has been released by his club, Racing 92, for the entirety of the Six Nations window.
Meanwhile, reports in France have indicated that a date in July could be an option, although that would clash with the Lions tour if it goes ahead.
“While we fully accept the decision of the Testing Oversight Group to recommend postponing our match against France on medical grounds, it is disappointing not to be able to play this fixture on Sunday,” said Townsend.
“We have had a good week with our players who were focussed and ready to represent their country in Paris and continue our progress in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.
“Throughout this tournament, and the previous Autumn Nations Cup, we have worked hard to maintain strict Covid protocols which have enabled us to select our strongest possible teams for these important international fixtures.
“We will wait to see what options are available to play this match against France, but it remains our position that we want to have all our eligible players available to us for that fixture, so we can compete to the level we would have done this weekend.
“We wish all the French players and staff affected by Covid well in their recovery and look forward to playing them at a future date.”