WALES’ Six Nations Championship clash against France in Paris tomorrow week looks likely to go ahead as planned.
French Rugby Federation president Bernard Lapasset spoke with the country’s Agriculture Minister Jean Glavany by telephone, yesterday, and received an assurance about the fixture taking place.
The foot and mouth crisis has so far claimed three championship matches Wales versus Ireland, Scotland against Ireland and Ireland versus England.
The Wales/Ireland Test has been provisionally rearranged by Six Nations chiefs for Sunday, April 29.
May dates are likely for the other two games, although the situation is complicated in England due to a clash with club play offs on suggested alternative weekends announced by the Six Nations Committee. France has so far proved free of foot and mouth.
“Bernard Lapasset and Jean Glavany had a conversation this morning, when assurances were given that the game can go ahead,’’ said Federation spokesman Lionel Rossigneux.
“The French squad will meet next Monday, and prepare as usual.”
If foot and mouth does appear in France over the next few days, it would inevitably cause a major rethink, but the match is currently not in doubt.
Scotland’s Murrayfield appointment with Italy tomorrow week is another confirmed starter.
Pepito Elhorga could make his international debut for France if the game goes ahead. The 23 year old Agen full back was meant to celebrate his first cap ever against Italy, but a calf strain ruined his chances to start with Les Bleus two days before the event.
He is the only change from the squad that beat Italy 30 19 last weekend.
France: Raphael Ibanez (Castres), Fabrice Landreau (Stade Francais), Pieter De Villiers (Stade Francais), Christian Califano (Toulouse), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Francais), Fabien Pelous (Stade Francais, capt), David Auradou (Stade Francais), Abdelatif Benazzi (Agen), Olivier Magne (Montferrand), Christophe Moni (Stade Francais), Serge Betsen (Biarritz), Christophe Juillet (Stade Francais), Fabien Galthie (Colomiers), Philippe Carbonneau (Pau), Christophe Lamaison (Agen), Gerald Merceron (Montferrand), Thomas Lombard (Stade Francais), Sebastien Bonetti (Biarritz), Christophe Dominici (Stade Francais), Philippe Bernat Salle (Biarritz), Pepito Elhorga (Agen), Jean-Luc Sadourny (Colomiers).