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As a Frenchman, I'm embarrassed and annoyed about the whole mess. People will not look back and say this was our finest hour!!
But let's look forward, if we can. As far as I understand, Ireland are complaining about the re-scheduled game on the grounds of player burnout citing 1) a 6 day turnaround to prepare for Scotland at home, and 2) having to play 4 games in a row.
How is this any different for the French team?
Fra have a six day turnaround after the Eng game to prepare for (a possible decider vs) Wales away. Fra also have to play 4 in a row. And, most of the Fra players had to play T4 this weekend. Meanwhile, I think ROG ran out vs Treviso, Fergus McFadden vs Scarlets and Tom Court vs Cardiff. That's 3 players. Maybe some of the Irish fans can help explain what the other 20 blokes were doing this weekend? (Maybe the same thing they were doing the weekend before the first 6N game vs Wales, while most of the Fra players were once again betting beaten up playing T14)
I am happy for the FFR to take criticism for the mess-up last weekend. Heaven knows they deserve it. But I don't think we need to be lectured by the Irish about player burnout........
.....unless I am missing something, in which case I apologise and am happy to be put straight by those in the Irish camp who know more than me (which is, I'm guessing, most of you!!).
Posted 21:45 18th February 2012
@karup Firstly, I didn't blame the FFR.
Secondly, the point I was trying to make is the 6N comittee clearly moved the game to Sunday as opposed to Saturday to sympathise with the home union's league. I completely understand why, it's a hard situation they're in, but the 6N committee need to be taking an impartial stance on it and not blurr the lines between International games and League games. I know that sounds harsh, but that's life. The fact that the 6N committee symapthized with the FNL implies that the decisions they make are not always impartial and fair...
Posted 11:34 16th February 2012
@ Froggy,.. I know you are probably feeling a touch defensive over this but every call was down to the FFR,.. even "renting" a stadium without undersoil heating to play a winter season sport,... whch is the centre of the problem here. This lies at the door of the the FFR. Unless of course there is someway we can blame the 6NC for this too.
This is all a bit of a farce and we an only hope it is not repeated. I'm just glad I'm not one of those Irish fans who flew out to Paris for,... well,.. nothing really.
Last point,... When did they say this?
Posted 07:17 16th February 2012
@leinster_goy I think you are suffering a little from delusions of grandeur. Anything but your full strength team against Scotland and you will loose. With our ball carrying forwards as well as Laidlaw and Hogg in the Scottish backline and Ansbro coming back from injury, Ireland will have a fight on their hands just to win the game.
Posted 17:34 15th February 2012
@Jose_jones: 1) more French fans than Irish were actually affected by the postponing and 2) saying the FFR is the sole responsible of the mess shows you know very little about the subject 3) T14 teams (mainly Toulouse and Clermont) did not have any objection on any date proposed. Stop talking rubbish !
Posted 14:01 15th February 2012
@ leinster_gov - I agree that we should be blooding new players now but signaling out Scotland for a weaker team is unfair to the Scots who were unlucky in their opening 2 matches. We, in our present self centered egotistical, form should worry about all the remaining teams in the 6N.
Time for a change, with all respect to our present heros, and if this is not seen by the coaching team them maybe they too should look beyond the possible Lions job and step down.
Posted 13:33 15th February 2012
@ Leinster goy.
from your comments you seem to not understand the structure of the IRFU.
The success of the Irish team is paramount. It is above all else, the provinces exist in the IRFU's eyes solely to supply players to the Irish team. If they can win competitions while doing that great but is not a driving force within the IRFU.
The Irish team will always come first in all situations. The 6 nations is their bread and butter. Like it or not thats the way it is.
Posted 13:29 15th February 2012
Insult to injury on behalf of the FFR and 6 Nations committee. Schedule the fixture next season........ Are we being serious now, if the French clubs are so concerned about losing revenue they should (a) think about the traveling fans who will have to fork out for flights and accomodation for a second time and (b) why not reschedule their Saturday games for later in the season...... Dah
Posted 13:28 15th February 2012
@adamk and lawynd :
You can blame the FFR as much as you want and complain about its amateurism and incompetence but don't make such generalities like "the french", it means nothing.
The top 14 (aka LNR) has absolutely no responsibility in this case, and is just a victim, as the irish team. They just wanted the 6N comittee to take their interests into consideration, which has not been done (and is a good thing imo). So the french clubs, who are paying the international players over the 12 months of the year cannot use them for nearly half of the championship.
adamk : that's why they come into the equation and why 6N comitte sympathise with them. It's legitimate.
Posted 12:54 15th February 2012
Axax says... "No for the ones who want to blame the French, this is 6N committee mess here": Well, this part was added to my comment, I have never written this. Anyway.
@lawynd: when it comes to weather forecast, the best you can do is 3 or 4 days in advance. As for the new date, it does not fit neither with the French or the Irish, there is no winner here.
@APV1: As I wrote in my previous comments, I don't see why the FFR is responsible here. For the weather? No. For no undersoil heating? No, the Stade de France is not the FFR property and does not have undersoil heating, that is a fact. Building one 3 days before the game... not really realistic. For not trusting the weather forecast? No, they proposed to reschedule the game. In the end it is the FFR that will refund the tickets. Compensation for the travelling fans? I fully agree, it would be great, but who should/would pay for this?
Posted 12:43 15th February 2012
If the IRB or 6N committee want international rugby to remain the pinnacle of world rugby they need to stamp there authority on the matter instead of creeping around the place in fear of stepping on peoples toes. Otherwise it will become like soccer where the clubs and Pay-per-View televison rule the roost.
Posted 12:36 15th February 2012
The FFR might not be entirely at fault, but they contributed greatly to the situation.
Posted 12:18 15th February 2012
Ireland can use this as an excuse when they get beaten. Come on these are professional sportsmen, Top 14 and Aviva teams play every weekend, whats the problem.
Posted 12:05 15th February 2012
Ireland, be glad you aren't Samoa. They consider themselves lucky to get 4 day turn arounds.
Posted 11:07 15th February 2012
Great, I get to see Ireland get tonked when I have a hangover instead of when I am on my way to getting a hangover
Posted 11:07 15th February 2012
@ Axax - I think that the FFR must shoulder some of the balme too, if we're trying to aportion it.
And what about compensation for the travelling fans?
Posted 11:02 15th February 2012
@Axax - read the article again - the host union could have organised a postponement, or flagged up the issue far earlier. So the fault lies firmly with the FFR, IMO. The date should be when it is acceptable to Ireland, not when it is acceptable to the French; let the Top 14 and FFR lose revenue, that seems a suitable punishment for their incompetence.
@leinster_goy - I'm sure one of your fellow countrymen once mentioned here that 81% of the revenue generated by the Irish provinces was handed down directly from the IRFU...if that's the case, I wouldn't be so quick to bite the hand that feeds.
Posted 10:56 15th February 2012
"We sympathise with the French clubs - it's very difficult for them," Six Nations chief executive John Feehan told PA Sport.
But why? Why are they sympathising with them? Surely that shouldn't even come into the equation. It's harsh, but let them worry about it.
Posted 10:52 15th February 2012
I feel sorry for Ireland,.. the postponement wasn't down to them, yet they still have to make all the concessions because the Top 14 might miss out on revenue if they go up against a 6 nations game.
This whole fiasco is the responsibilty of the FFR, so why are the Irish fans and supporters are being kicked around because of it??
Posted 10:28 15th February 2012
they're not going to win the tournament this year anyway so why not put out a weakened team against scotland at home. this will give the younger guys a bite at the cherry and also give the established players some much-needed rest
the irfu also need to get it into their thick skulls that leinster have two crucial rabo games against ospreys and munster immediately after the 6N ends, followed by the heineken QF with the blues. if it really worth subjecting players to a punishing four-week schedule and inevitable injuries just so the irfu can line their pockets
Posted 10:27 15th February 2012